[h6]New Build Tourist Accommodation.[/h6]
Just back from a trip to Rathlin Island to look at old jobs and new. It's a beuitiful place all year around but even more so at this time of the year, out of tourist season. So quiet, yet its bustling as the Islanders go about their daily lives. There is only 80 of them and they all seamed to be on the move. The main reason for the trip was to check up on progess with the Youth Hostel which is currently under construction. It will hopefuly be finished and open for this summer.
Around 60 000 tourists visit the island every Summer now that the new catamaran provides a quick and comfortable way to cross from Ballycastle. Most tourists are day trippers. The Island only has 29 over night beds available, so the majority of visitors leave on the last boat. A lot of these beds are long term rents to seasonal workers. The island is crying out for extra beds and the Hostel currently under construction aims to fill this void. The Planning Proposal was therefore very strong. Laverty architecture produced a business plan highlighting the economic benefits to the island as well as the drawings and usual paperwork. The Hostel itself replaces the demolished run down outbuildings which occupied the site, creating only a small increase in built form. The site itself is 15 minutes walk from the harbor, beside the old Kelp House. The site of the hostel is quite restrictive. Access to the adjacent dwelling and boundaries dictated the footprint of the building and we had to work with those constraints from the start.
Ready for plastering inside and out, then the screed to the floors and 2nd fix. The push is on to get the Hostel opened for the summer. All materials have to be ferried over, so the weather is potentially a big factor in keeping the project on schedule. Also adds complications and extra expense to any building projects on the Island. All the Islanders I talked to all think the Hostel will be good for the island. I will be back to see it when finished and maybe give it a test drive myself when its open. [/full]