Theme park plan for Ballykelly

Plans are in the works for Ballykelly to have a year-round mammoth tourist attraction with a possible jurassic theme, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.

Shackleton Studios, the television and film production company, based at the former army base in the village, is behind the ambitious plan.

Jo Gilbert of Shackleton Studios. INLV3615-068KDR

Jo Gilbert of Shackleton Studios. INLV3615-068KDR

Jo Gilbert told the ‘Journal’ of the plans, and believes it would make the village “a go-to destination for tourism”.

“We’d like to have a railway station here because we have a tourist attraction we hope to bring in. I can’t say too much,” Jo Gilbert said. “We’re on the jurassic coast. It would be a phenomenal thing, and having a railway stop here would make it a go-to destination for tourism.”

When pressed about the tourist attraction, Ms Gilbert said: “It would be a family orientated, highly technological but fun thing to do. It’s something that would be very sympathetic to the Giant’s Causeway. 
It’s great stuff.”

Ms Gilbert said “if everything goes well”, the attraction could be on site by 
next summer.

“Yes, it’s a little bit like a theme park, something that would be indigenous to the area, something that can be global and that we can put here and opens up the whole site.”

In recent days, filming has taken place for the movie ‘Property of the State’ in the Roe Valley Country Park. Other projects lined up include the television series ‘The Brylcreem Boys’.

Another project that could come to Ballykelly is a US movie with a budget of $65 million.

“It’s an adaption of a book by amazing authors and it’s tailor-made for here. They are looking at other places, but they loved it here and that can start anytime,” said Ms Gilbert, who added: “The site is just waiting for it. Everything is possible here.”