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Carnfunnock Park Closure Sparks Concerns Among Community

Updated 10/10/2023

Plans to close Carnfunnock Park for an entire year, starting next June, have raised concerns within the local community. The anticipated closure has sparked worries about its potential detrimental effects on the mental well-being and social lives of park users. In response to these concerns, a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday morning, offering local residents an opportunity to voice their fears and apprehensions to their local Member of Council, Gordon Lyons, and the representatives of the local council.

The impending closure of Carnfunnock Park, a beloved recreational area, has garnered attention due to its expected impact on the surrounding community. While park closures for maintenance and improvement purposes are not uncommon, the prolonged one-year duration of this particular closure has left many residents worried about the repercussions.

One of the primary concerns is the potential toll on mental health. Carnfunnock Park has served as a haven for individuals seeking solace and relaxation amidst nature. Its scenic beauty and tranquil surroundings have provided a respite from the stresses of daily life. The closure threatens to deprive local residents of this essential resource, leaving them without a nearby natural refuge.

Furthermore, the lack of access to the park will likely limit opportunities for socialization, especially for those who regularly gather at the park for recreational activities or simply to connect with friends and neighbours. The closure may disrupt the sense of community that has thrived within the park’s boundaries.

In response to these concerns, a meeting has been organized to facilitate a constructive dialogue between the community and its elected representatives. Scheduled for Wednesday morning, upstairs of Carnfunnock visitor center, just above the cafe, at 11am., this gathering will offer residents a platform to express their worries and share their perspectives regarding the Carnfunnock Park closure.

Gordon Lyons, and representatives from the local council will be in attendance to listen to the community’s concerns and provide insights into the reasoning behind the closure decision. This meeting aims to foster open communication and ensure that residents’ voices are heard.

In light of the short notice, it is essential to spread the word among community members to maximize participation. Your involvement and input are invaluable in shaping the future of Carnfunnock Park and its role in the community.

A Mid and East Antrim spokesperson has said:

We are delighted that Carnfunnock is to receive £6m funding through the UK Government’s Levelling Up scheme, and this money will enable significant upgrades of the park for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

This will not only enhance the park itself but it will also benefit the surrounding area and provide an economic boost for businesses.

We are aware of some concerns that the transformational works to the park will require a prolonged period of closure.

We want to reassure residents, visitors and businesses that no decision has yet been taken regarding the facilitation of the investment works at the park and how we deliver these in the most cost-effective and less disruptive way.

We are considering a range of options and these will then be put to the community for consultation and feedback before a way forward is agreed.

Carnfunnock is a jewel in Mid and East Antrim’s crown in terms of a fantastic outdoor space, and we appreciate just how treasured and valued it is by residents and visitors alike.

We will continue to talk and listen to residents, visitors and businesses and keep them updated over the weeks and months ahead. Information will also be posted on Council’s website and social media channels, and anybody with any queries or concerns is asked to contact Council so we can address these.

The key components of the project will include the construction of a new visitor centre which will house a reception/shop space, café and toilet facilities, overlooking the coastline.

It will also see an upgrade to the existing caravan park amenity block and activity centre facilities.

A cycling facility to create an attraction for older children and investment in the existing adventure play to include inclusive and accessible play ensures fun for all. Path and infrastructure work and a new maze viewing platform will improve accessibility throughout the site.


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