Business owners, politicians and community representatives gathered at Mossley Mill on Monday evening (February 17) for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) roadshow on preparing for the ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia.
The ‘Get Ready for the Giro’ roadshow outlined the size and scope of the world famous cycling spectacle, and the impact it is set to have across Northern Ireland.
Attendees got a taste of what will be happening locally and how businesses, schools, clubs, communities and volunteers can engage and interact with the race as it passes through Glengormley, Jordanstown, Whiteabbey and Whitehouse on May 10.
The roadshow included an overview of the impact on roads and local communities, and presentations by Shadetree Sports, the NI Tourist Board and Newtownabbey Council.
The NITB is encouraging communities in towns and villages along the route of the local stages of the race to ‘think pink’ and organise their own events to celebrate the Giro and to promote their tourism potential.
Susie McCullough, NITB’s Director of Business Support and Events said: “The Giro d’Italia will be a tremendous boost for tourism across the board - hotels, town centres, villages and local communities will all benefit.
“It will let Northern Ireland showcase our spectacular scenery, the local tourism product and our status as a top location for sporting events to a worldwide audience.”
Mayor Fraser Agnew added: “The Giro d’Italia is one of the biggest cycling events in the world and we are delighted it will be travelling through Newtownabbey, not once but twice. The race will pass through Glengormley on the morning of May 10 en route to the North Coast and it will then pass through Jordanstown on its return to Belfast. It not only provides us with two opportunities to cheer on the athletes, but with people tuning in from all around the world, it also gives us the chance to showcase Newtownabbey to a global audience.
“In the run up to the event, a series of facelifts to derelict buildings, street dressing and a programme of events will ensure that the borough is looking its very best and enjoying the carnival atmosphere that the race will bring. I encourage everyone to get into the spirit of the Giro d’Italia and help pink up the borough for this fantastic event.”