Marking the beginning of the summer holidays, Colin Glen has announced that the Forest Park’s newest, world class attractions are officially opening to the public on Wednesday 7thJuly.
The two new experiences include the hotly anticipated Black Bull Run, Ireland’s first and only alpine coaster, where thrill-seekers can experience an adrenaline-pumping woodland course, zooming through the Colin Glen Forest at up to40kmper hour and experiencing the outdoors like never before.
The Forest Flyover also opens, offering an all-new 250m zipline where visitors can experience speeds up to35mphas they skim the treetops of the Belfast Hills. Later this summer, Colin Glen will also launch Ireland’s longest zipline, River Rapid, featuring a 700m zipline with a 100ft high take-off offering views of Belfast and beyond as you zip across the Colin River. Once launched, the Forest Flyover and River Rapid will offer visitors a thrilling dual zipline experience at the forest park.
The new attractions are part of a multi-million-pound investment project, supported by Belfast City Council’s Belfast Investment Fund, DAERA’s Rural Tourism, DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI)Programme and the Department for Communities. The investment is part of the organisation’s wider plans to continue developing a world class outdoor adventure park in the heart of Belfast, including the introduction of a new Landy Train for in-park transportation and crowd management, along with plans for an outdoor café, new visitor centre and accommodation facilities.
Councillor Áine Groogan, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “I’m delighted to see these amazing new visitor attractions at Colin Glen opening to the public. The Council has invested £2.5 million in the facilities through our Belfast Investment Fund, and this was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. This support helped secure over £2.5 million of additional funding from our partners in DAERA and the Department for Communities, allowing the ambitious project to proceed.
“This investment will completely transform the forest park into a thriving, world class visitor attraction which will be a major boost for the surrounding area. It will contribute to many of the objectives outlined in The Belfast Agenda, the city’s community plan, in terms of regenerating our neighbourhoods, creating jobs and boosting our tourism offering.”
Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots said: “I recognise the importance of tourism for our rural communities and the economy so I am delighted that we have invested £1m from our Rural Tourism Scheme into both Ireland’s first Alpine Coaster and also the longest zipline. The creation of a visitor experience in the Belfast Hills not only showcases the natural landscape but can offer long term sustainability and growth for rural tourism in Northern Ireland.
The additional £437,000 from the TRPSI Programme has significantly developed Colin Glen Forest Park into a hub for recreational and social activity. Parks, green spaces, forests and trails do not merely draw visitors to a place; their presence increases the quality of life for residents and in many cases, creates a sense of community and belonging.
I wish Colin Glen Trust every success going forward and I look forward to visiting the attractions, once the longest zipline has been completed later in the summer.”
Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey said: “Through working in collaboration with a number of partners Colin Glen Forest Park has developed into a world class innovative attraction in West Belfast for everyone to enjoy. This new facility will provide opportunities for a wide range of citizens to participate and engage in educational, social and leisure activities, enabling them to live more active and healthy lives. I’m delighted to see that the investment in this state-of-the art project meets the objectives of our People and Place Strategy – to invest in neighbourhoods, to develop confident communities and to improve quality of life for all”.
Announcing the launch, Colin Glen Chief Executive, Colin O’Neill commented: “The whole team here at Colin Glen is thrilled to welcome everyone to the Forest Park to experience our new attractions. The Black Bull Run and Forest Flyover mark a very exciting time for Colin Glen as we aim to create a unique giant adventure for all and become the ultimate staycation destination this summer.
It’s been a very difficult year for the whole tourism sector, and with our new attractions, we’re very pleased to be able to create new jobs and help our local community to flourish, all while protecting the 200-acre Park that remained a vital resource for so many during lockdown.”
For more information on the new attractions at Colin Glen, visitwww.colinglen.org.