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Contract awarded to develop exciting £535,000 trails network through Gosford Forest

Gosford and Darkley Forest trail tenders awarded to Camlough company

A contract for the construction of an exciting network of trailers at Gosford Forest Park – at a cost in excess of £500,000 – has been awarded.

And Armagh I can reveal that the development will be completed by a south Armagh company – which was also recently appointed for a similar, albeit smaller scale, project at Darkley.

Euro Services Contracts Limited – which is based in Camlough – has been successful in tendering for the work at Gosford.

In all, a total of 46 kms of what has been described as “a multi-use, sustainable off-road, non bitmac trail system” will be woven throughout Gosford.

This will include walking trails, off-road family cycling, running and horse-riding.

The actual contract for the trails element – which is expected to be completed in a six month period – comes in at £535,000.

But it’s part of a wider £1.5 million redevelopment which should get underway in the coming months.

As we previously reported, an integrated consultancy team is being assembled to ensure the successful implementation of the project. A partnership between the ABC Council and Outdoor Recreation NI for the development is already in place.

It was in April 2016 that Armagh I revealed the redevelopment of Gosford Forest Park into a top family tourist attraction would cost over £1.5 million.

In addition to the trails, the massive scheme would include a visitor centre and cafe, improved accommodation facilities for visitors including camping, caravanning and log cabins – as well as a Gulliver-themed play trail for families – at a cost of £1,526,676, almost double initial estimates.

Other proposals included picnic areas being developed around the visitor ‘hub’ and main car park, and seating installed around the play car park and walking trails. Car parking provision on site would be extended.

The toilets at the car park site – where there is already in place a children’s play area – would be upgraded and further toilets installed at a youth campsite.

The appointment of the trails contractor will be another major step forward.

And it will be busy times for Euro Services Contracts Ltd, given that the company’s expertise, value and professionalism have helped secure this second major scheme.

In November, we revealed the company was awarded the contract to develop exciting new walking trails at Darkley Forest, with a bid in the region of £185,000.

Euro Services Contracts Ltd has previously been selected to develop the Mourne Mountain Bike Trail. This £1.4 million project included developing two bike trail systems, one at Rostrevor and the other at Castlewellan Forest Park.

The walking trails represents the major aspect of the overall redevelopment plan at Darkley Forest, the total cost being in the region of £315,000.

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