Not within our usual sphere, although definitely prehistoric and we’re going to chance it. The Belfast Newsletter this week carried news of the proposed visitor centre at the Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim;

“Work is set to start in the coming months on the long-awaited visitors’ centre at the Giant’s Causeway.
The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB] revealed it is to provide £9.25 million funding to deliver replacement visitor services at the World Heritage Site.”

In the same week that the “Keep the Staffordshire Hoard off Ebay” appeal was bumped past its target by £1.29 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund – it seems that big Heritage pledges are in vogue at the moment. The Heritage Lottery Fund and the National Trust have already promised about £7 million between them and the remainder of the £18.5 million needed for the Giant’s Causeway project must now come from public donations.

Of course, there’s money to be made as well;

“Mr Clarke added that the new North Coast centre will help promote tourist destinations beyond the Causeway.

“This will provide opportunities to grow the tourism sector by signposting visitors to other attractions in the region, increasing the time that visitors stay in the region and increasing the amount spent by visitors.”

He added: “As we will be able to offer a lot of things to see in a tight geographic area, we are going to need more hotel development.

“We are hoping to have a four-star hotel for visitors along the Causeway Coast and would encourage investors into the area.”

We’re also hoping that this proposed ancillary development won’t cover all surrounding. The centre itself, designed by Dublin architects Heneghan Peng, appears to be well considered and carefully unobtrusive – “hidden from the coastal landscape by a grass roof.”