Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre

Client: The National Trust Location: County Antrim, Northern Ireland Scale: 1,815 sq of exhibition facilities, retail, tourist information facilities, catering, public gathering/circulationStatus: Opened July 2012

Giant's Causeway Visitors' Centre image

We secured planning permission for the replacement visitors’ centre at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) for the National Trust. The award-winning scheme is for a site afforded a number of environmental designations, including the WHS designation, a Special Area of Conservation and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The application was approved in January 2009 following high level consultation and negotiation led by Turley with DoE Planning and other statutory consultees. We project managed the application and delivered the planning permission in seven months.

Since planning approval, we were instructed by the National Trust to provide ongoing planning advice, project managing a series of inter-related applications which enabled the development to commence on-site and enabling the £18 million visitors’ centre to open in July 2012. The building scores highly in terms of sustainability credentials and achieved a BREEAM excellent rating.

The visitors’ centre attracted more than 780,000 visitors since opening in its first 14 months. The project won the Rural Areas and the Natural Environment category in the RTPI NI Sustainable Planning Awards 2012 and the building was one of six shortlisted for the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize in 2013.