‘Benone Bay’ like something from ‘Home and Away’ - councillor

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.

A proposal to rebrand Limavady’s blue flag beach and its facilities as ‘Benone Bay’ has been spurned by local councillors.

The idea proved so unpopular that SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan claimed it was the idea of consultants “getting a lot of money for basically having a laugh”.

“They didn’t burn too many brain cells on this one,” said Colr. Mullan at Council’s development services meeting on Tuesday. “There is no ring of truth to it. It’s like something from ‘Home and Away’. This is consultants getting a lot of money for basically having a laugh.”

The idea is part of a project to “create a new marketing name for integrating the beach facilities with the complex facilities“, according to Council’s Director of Development Services, Valerie Richmond, who said the current brand had “become somewhat outdated”.

“The general research consensus is that when people visit the area they refer to visiting ‘Benone’. The designers have taken this on board and have come forward with ‘Benone Bay – stay and play’ as the new marketing name, which emphasises both the geographical location of the tourist attraction, together with accommodation and activity,” said Ms Richmond. “This will be a new marketing concept to be used on interpretation, signage, publicity and merchandising items which will help to re-focus the profile of Benone as an important day trip and visitor attraction in the Causeway Coast and Glens Destination attraction to the family and activity markets within Northern Ireland.”

However, councillors were not convinced with several members voicing their opposition to the Benone Bay aspect.

Sinn Fein Colr. Rory Donaghy pointed out: “It’s not a bay. It was never a bay.”

DUP Colr. James McCorkell said he was not happy with Benone Bay, while TUV Colr. Boyd Douglas said it was always known as Benone beach.

Ms Richmond said she appreciated members had views which she was keen to take on board.

SDLP Colr. Michael Coyle said it appeared very little thought had gone into it, and said it shouldn’t be down to councillors to seek an alternative when people had been employed to do that.

Sinn Fein Colr. Anne Brolly said those employed in the rebranding project were getting paid money to do so and “should come up with something better than this”.

The matter is to be brought back to councillors in coming weeks.