Heneghan Peng’s beleaguered Giant Causeway visitor centre project in Northern Ireland has been thrown a lifeline by the National Trust (NT).
In September, the AJ reported that the £21 million scheme had been shelved after the Northern Irish government pulled funding and threw its weight behind a cheaper, privately funded visitor facility on a neighbouring site (AJ 13.09.07).
But now, the NT – which owns the famous Causeway stones – has formed a joint venture with Moyle Council – which owns the site of the proposed project – to push through a new scheme in a move that could see the revival of Heneghan Peng’s designs.
A NT spokesman said that the joint venture had the backing of the province’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry (DETI) and confirmed that Dublin-based Heneghan Peng was back in the running.
The spokesman said: ‘Their scheme meets the various criteria and yes, this is a lifeline for Heneghan Peng.
However, Heneghan Peng founder, Shih-Fu Peng said he was not holding his breath.
He said: ‘It’s a soap opera and mired in politics. We’ve been told to stay low and not to say anything.
‘We wanted to have this project designed three years ago.
‘Now it will cost 10 times as much and we don’t even know what it will look like.’