North coast cottages achieve successful first summer

Established with support from Invest Northern Ireland, a development of five-star self-catering cottages close to the Giant’s Causeway has achieved almost 100 per cent occupancy in its first summer trading.

Situated within the Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the three high quality cottages were converted from an original 19th century farm courtyard in a £500,000 investment. They boast uninterrupted sea views and have proved popular with visitors from across the UK, the Republic of Ireland, continental Europe and the USA.

Invest NI offered £57,000 towards the investment in renovating the buildings and setting up the business, which primarily targets those seeking a relaxing break or a base from which to explore the surrounding area.

Kevin McCann, Invest NI’s Director of Transport, Construction and Tourism, says: “Northern Ireland continues to become an ever more attractive tourist destination and this represents an increasingly important source of revenue for the whole local economy. Moreover, the recent relative strength of the Euro against Sterling has encouraged more visitors from the Eurozone whilst also attracting visitors from within the UK wanting to get the most from their pound.

“Bayview Farm Cottages is an excellent example of how local entrepreneurs can take advantage of these combining factors to achieve commercial success. The business is meeting an identified market opportunity for high quality self-catering accommodation in this part of Northern Ireland, and this is reflected by the cottages’ impressive early success.”

Lorna Boyce, General Manager of Bayview Farm Cottages, says: “The cottages, situated alongside a working farm, have been in the Boyce family for four generations. It was only recently, however, that we considered the tourism potential they would offer if renovated.

“We have already accommodated a variety of wonderful guests, in couples, families and bigger groups, and are delighted that many have already rebooked future breaks with us.”

Mrs Boyce adds: “With international interest in Northern Ireland currently very high, we felt that it was an excellent time to take forward the venture and the support and advice of Invest NI has been invaluable in making the cottages a reality.”