Why are investors pouring money into new hotels near Portrush? Because the Causeway Coast is drawing crowds of tourists. Why are they coming? The area is not only beautiful, but has a rich and varied historic environment. Dunluce Castle, Carrick-a-Rede, Mussenden Temple, and Bushmills Distillery are only the brightest stars in the constellation of heritage sites on Northern Ireland’s north coast. It would be diminished without these riches. They create a sense of place, a feeling of pride.
Heritage creates value through tourism, but that’s only its most obvious benefit. Nurturing a living past is essential to health and wellbeing, cultural and economic regeneration, and a shared sense of optimism. History and place lie deep in our psyche. There is an outcry when old buildings are demolished to make way for new developments because we understand that when some things are gone, they are gone for good.