Current Projects

Kilkeel Visitor Information Centre

(recognised and affiliated to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board),

OPENS Easter – Oct Mon – Friday 9am – 1pm, 1.30pm – 5pm, November to Easter OPENS Mon – Friday 9am – 1pm, 1.30pm – 5pm.

It is located on the 1st floor of the Nautilus Centre overlooking Kilkeel Harbour. There is secure parking available in the Nautilus Centre Car Park at £1 per day. There is lift access to the first floor, with public toilets including disabled facilities. Entrance Door on ground floor is located beside the large Black Anchor.

Call in for visitor information leaflets on accommodation, places to visit, what’s on, maps, walking and cycling routes, for the local area and the rest of Northern Ireland.

In addition to the day to day operations of the Visitor Information Centre, the following list is a range of projects that are ongoing at present:

Mourne Seafood Cookery School

mourne seafood cookery schoolIs located on the 1st floor overlooking Kilkeel Harbour. Access the entrance door beside the large black anchor. There is lift and stair access. The Mourne Seafood Cookery School offers a range of classes starting from £50 per person for a 2.5hours hands on cookery experience. It can also offer group demonstrations for coach tours, or private parties. A great choice as part of a team building day or hen or stag weekend. We can assist with sourcing and booking accommodation and other activities as well.

This is operated as a social enterprise to support the local fishing fleet and promote sustainable species of seafood.

Mourne Maritime Visitor Centre

Mourne Maritime Visitor CentreFREE Entrance. OPENS Easter – Oct Mon – Friday 9am – 1pm, 1.30pm – 5pm, November to Easter OPENS Mon – Friday 9am – 1pm, 1.30pm – 5pm.

Celebrate the rich maritime history of the Mourne coastal area and the local fishing fleet. Learn about the history of the harbour. Kids can play on our interactive screens, while you can trace your family connections through the Families at Sea, which was funded through Heritage Lottery. Enjoy great views of the harbour whatever the weather and browse the range of nautical gifts on sale.

Nautilus Centre

Our flagship building which was built in 1997 with funding by PESCA. The following is a list of our tenants: Kilkeel Pet Centre, REACT, Homestart, A G Bodyworks, Pure Fitness Gym.

The Nautilus Centre can be hired for meetings, seminars and talks. Please contact Michelle for availability on Tel: 028 4176 2525.

Kilkeel Library is located in the Nautilus Centre, while the new Library is being constructed. KDA took the lead in lobbying for Kilkeel Library’s hours not to be reduced and are delighted that Libraries NI have decided to build a new library in Kilkeel.

Sustainable Kilkeel 2020 Vision

£36,000 Invest NI

Sustainable Kilkeel 2020 VisionThe Sustainable Kilkeel 2020 Vision is the result of a collaborative pooling of Invest NI Innovation Vouchers. Nine local companies came together and pooled their resources to enable a major scoping study to be developed, looking at how Kilkeel could develop, to maximise opportunities from the Renewable Energy Sector. The following companies took part: Kilkeel Development Association ( lead partner) Rockall Seafoods, Kilhorne Bay Seafoods, Henning Bros, Copas Technologies, Ian Newell Boat Building & Repair, Anglo North Irish Fish Producers, Cunningham Butchers, Kilmorey Arms Hotel. This was the largest research project being undertaken on the island of Ireland into Renewable Energy & Sustainability.

The project involved input from a range of knowledge providers, including: South West College’s Carbon Zero NI and Innotech Centre, College of Agriculture Food & Rural Enterprise (Loughry College), Queen’s University’s QUESTOR Centre and the University of Ulster Business School.

Some of the ideas that arose from the research included: a new low carbon outer harbour which would support the fishing, offshore energy and marine tourism sectors; co-development of wind farms, opportunities from energy from waste, wave & tidal energy, new employment and training, diversification in aquaculture and seaweed harvesting, eco and marine tourism etc.

We are now looking to get full cost/ benefit analysis completed for each project to see how we can progress them.

Binnian Enterprise Park

KDA-Slider-1Phase 1 £1.16million funded by Department of Trade & Investment (Peace II), International Fund for Ireland, Invest NI, Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency & Kilkeel Development Association

The construction of 13 business incubation units ranging from 1000 – 2000 sq ft. The development was very successful and its first anchor tenant was Thompson Solutions, who has grown and developed into Thompson Aerospace. The enterprise park is ideally situated beside Kilkeel Harbour and close proximity to BE Aerospace.

The current list of tenants includes: Copas Technologies, BMT Tyre & Motor Services, Kilgore Services. At present there are 1000 and 2000 sq ft units to let. If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Malone, Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency Tel: 028 3026 7011.

Phase 2 – £360,000 Department of Agriculture & Rural Development – South Down Fisheries Taskforce & Newry & Mourne District Council

The construction of four units in phase II was the result of funding from DARD Fisheries Taskforce. 2 of these units are finished to fish/food processing standard. There are currently 2 units available at 1000 sq foot per unit. Please contact Jennifer Malone, Property Manager, Newry & Mourne Enterprise Agency, Tel: 028 3026 7011

Kilkeel Restore Project


DSD has grant aided £150,000 on the back of the recently finished £1.4million town centre environmental improvement scheme. This money is to give the shop fronts a spruce up and to date over 92 businesses have availed of the shop front painting scheme. There is also a marketing element to the project, which has included the design and installation of 65 colourful pennants throughout the town centre, floral hanging baskets, new bins and summer seats. The website has been updated to promote local businesses. New promotional stickers for local shops and car stickers for visitors have been produced to push traffic to the website. The funding has also been used to run a promotional advertising campaign and support local events. Photographs were commissioned of local businesses and 10 pilot online stores have been set up to try and encourage local shops to sell online as well as encouraging footfall on the high street.

Tracing Your Mourne Roots


This is a two year project aimed at researching and displaying the history of Kilkeel and the wider Mourne area from 1800 to present. It will run in segments of time, starting from 1800 – 1840s, 1850s – 1890s, 1900 – 1910s, 1920, 1930s, 1940, – 1950s, 1960 – 1970s, 1980, 1990s, 2000 – present. The project manager will work with local volunteers and students to research what were the major, social, political, economic changes that influenced life and what made people leave these shores.

There will be a display of local heritage, artefacts, photographs and for anyone who is returning to trace their roots this will be an excellent way to find out why people left the country and what life was like. As part of the project information will be gathered about local graveyards so that people trying to trace relatives have a database of information to search.

This project was funded by the Heritage Lottery.

Harbour Haven Forum

£200,000 by The Big Lottery – Connecting Older People

The project will see the opening of the Harbour Haven Drop In and Advice Centre at the Nautilus Centre for Senior Citizens from June 2013. A Harbour Haven co-ordinator will be recruited for 3 years to deliver the project. A forum committee will be set up to oversee the project so that the beneficiaries have a direct input to the day to day running of the project. Activities will include a luncheon club, craft classes, computer classes between young and older people, visits, talks and advice and help with form filling or if anything is worrying the senior citizens that they have somewhere to call into for a chat and cup of tea. It will also help to reduce feelings of isolation, through the pick up and drop off bus service to target those most in need especially in rural areas. The project has been awarded funding by The Big Lottery – Reconnecting Older People – £200,000.

This project arose from the very successful Young at Heart Luncheon Club that was run by Kilkeel Charitable Trust a sister organisation of KDA which was funded by the Allen Lane Partnership.

Restoring the Links

Rural Development Council & International Fund for Ireland, £89,900

This project follows on from the Integrating through Education pilot project. Brian Larkin has been appointed as the project manager. The project is a peace & reconciliation project with the aims of restoring the links between Kilkeel and Mourne (Northern Ireland) and Greenore and Cooley area (Ireland). The two areas are separated by Carlingford Lough which forms the border. However before the “Trouble” the area was linked by a ferry and the two communities mixed socially, culturally and economically. The project aims to restore those links by look at what common bonds we share and also our history of emigration. The aim is to work with Primary schools, senior citizens, women, historical and business groups.

Kids Cookery Classes

Newry & Mourne District Council

We have a programme of Children’s Cookery Classes with our head chef Roger Moynihan. It is aimed at children between 8 – 12yrs old. The aim of the class is to bring together children from different, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds and teach them basic cookery skills which will improve their well being and confidence.

The dates for the classes are as follows:

31st Jan, 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th Feb, 7th Mar 2013
6pm – 7.30pm @ Mourne Seafood Cookery School

This project was funded by Newry & Mourne District Council through Good Relations.

Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum

Pamela Houston the chief executive of Kilkeel Development Association is also chairperson of the Mourne Coastal Tourism Forum. The Forum was established as a result of a public meeting held in June 2012 by Karen McKevitt SDLP MLA for South Down. It comprises of a range of private sector tourism providers who came together to promote the Carlingford Lough and Irish Sea coastal area of the famed Mountains of Mourne.

In March 2013 they launched the website which they designed and funded themselves. They also produced two promotional postcards as part of the Gathering Initiative by Tourism Ireland. Tommy Sands the legendary Irish singer is acting as their ambassador and distributed the postcards during his recent tour of the USA. They along with the Southern Regional College have also produced a video of the area for youtube as well. They are in the process of judging their recent writing competition “Legend Has it” aimed at primary and secondary schools in the area. The winners will be announced in May.

Kingdom of Mourne Festival

Funded by Newry & Mourne District Council

The Kingdom of Mourne Festival has been running for over 35 years. It will take place from the 20th July – 27th July. Funding from Newry & Mourne District Council has just be given. The programme includes a range of entertainment including Horse & Pony Shows, RNLI Raft Race, Bonny Baby Competitions, Craft Classes, Beach Treasure Hunts, Beach Walking Tours, Vintage Tractors & Cars, Local Produce Stalls, exhibition of local history and history talks, tracing your Mourne roots genealogy talks, emigration events, Music, fun fayre, Childrens Entertainment and much more.

Details will be on in the next few months.


Funded by Newry & Mourne District Council

Calling seafood lovers everywhere, Fishfest will take place in Kilkeel on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of August 2013, the 26th August, in the centre of Kilkeel on Greencastle Street. There will be seafood cookery demonstrations, fresh fish stalls, seafood buffet, oyster eating competition, craft and local produce stalls, fun fayre, Keel wheelers – motorbike club exhibition, tracing your Mourne roots exhibition, emigration event, music, childrens entertainment and lots more.

For more details,

Dickens Day 2013

Funded by Newry & Mourne District Council

Celebrate the festive season with Dickens Day on the last Saturday in November, which will be the 30th November 2013. KDA assists Kilkeel Chamber of Commerce in the running of the event. It is a great day out with lots of bargains and the Dickens Day Grand Giveaway, where if you spend over £10 in participating stores you receive a ticket for the draw worth over £1200 in prizes. The local shop keepers dress up in period costume and there is music, craft stalls, horse and carriage parade, carol singing, the Santa Charity Run, childrens entertainment, food and drink sampling in the local shops.

For more details