One of Northern Ireland's most exhilarating tourist attractions has bagged a prestigious infrastructure award. The AECOM Excellence Awards judges assess projects right across the UK and Ireland.
The Gobbins cliff path in Islandmagee fought off stiff competition from projects involving Irish Water, Transport for London and urban regeneration near the UK capital.
The outdoor coastal adventure experience has pulled in thousands of visitors from across the globe including Australia, New Zealand, America, China and India since opening.
The attraction won the award for project delivery, recognising the innovative techniques and collaborative working applied by the project team to successfully re-open the coastal path ahead of schedule following its temporary closure after severe storms in 2016.
Paul McAleese, Project Director, AECOM, said: "The Gobbins cliff path is a spectacular project location, but it also presented a number of engineering challenges for our team. Working closely with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the project's contractor, we were able to introduce a number of innovations that enabled us to speed up delivery of this complex project and reopen the attraction before peak tourist season. We're delighted the project has been recognised with an excellence award, which is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved."
Weaving its way along the basalt cliffs of the world famous Causeway Coast, visitors to The Gobbins will travel across a suspension bridge, tunnels and along pathways in an up close and personal experience of the spectacular coastline.
As they travel along the path, visitors have the chance to discover the area's varied geology, marvel at the engineering triumphs and even spot puffins, dolphins and seals.
Get ready to become enchanted with tales of smugglers, young lovers and even witches as the 2.5 hour guided tour brings you on a journey to discover the area's history whilst your feet grip onto the rugged coastline as you taste the sea air.
Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Anne Donaghy said: "This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of the teams of people involved to bring this project to fruition. The area continues to reap the benefits it brings in terms of footfall, economic traffic and investments.
"The ongoing success of The Gobbins and Mid and East Antrim's other key tourism sites has had an invaluable knock-on effect for the local economy, boosting investment and creating jobs. This prestigious award reinforces the decision to invest in this attraction's future, with council committing a portion of the £80million investment from City Deal to bolster its position as one of Northern Ireland's top tourism attractions."
The 1.2 mile-long cliff walk is one of the most ambitious engineering projects ever seen in Northern Ireland and was originally built in the early 20th century.
For more information, to keep up to date or book tickets, you can go to www.thegobbinscliffpath.com