Explorers, adventurers and all those with a love of the outdoors were out in force to celebrate the re-launch of Sport Northern Ireland’s new multi-million pound adventure sports facility: Tollymore National Outdoor Centre.  Joining Sport Northern Ireland to mark the occasion were Department of Culture Arts and Leisure Minister Nelson McCausland, and TV presenter and canoe record-breaker Helen Skelton.

Located at Bryansford on the edge of the Mournes, the well-known and renowned outdoor activity centre has re-opened its doors following a £5m complete re-build of the facility.  The stunning new building is a state-of-the-art purpose built facility that quite simply takes your breath away. 

Speaking at the launch, Dominic Walsh Chair of Sport Northern Ireland said, “Sport Northern Ireland is extremely pleased to open this state-of-the-art facility and welcome the opportunity to continue to train individuals to an elite performance standard.  In addition, it gives recreational outdoor enthusiasts the perfect facility to enjoy the outdoors, and to attract new participants to sample the enjoyment to be gained from participation.”

To ensure the new building is in keeping with its surroundings, it has been built to be very eco-friendly, incorporating a biomass boiler system, solar panels and rain water recycling system.  The design itself is sympathetic to the setting and the concept was guided by those very much in touch with outdoor recreation with leading Everest explorer Dawson Stelfox leading on the design.

Local contractors Glasgiven Contracts Limited carried out the build process and they too were supportive and innovative in the environmental build process.  Using local products where possible, and employing a local workforce has meant that the new centre has been crafted to be sympathetic to and reflective of the environment within which it sits.

The centre provides training and development at all levels for a range of outdoor sports. The centre staff are some of the most experienced and well qualified in the United Kingdom and Ireland and are enthusiastic practitioners of the sports as well as tutors.  The centre has partnered with the Mourne Heritage Trust to be a Mourne Information Point and can provide information on walking routes, access points and information on the flora and fauna of the Mourne Mountain environment.

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