Ridiculed ‘Benone Bay’ rename back under consideration

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The thought process behind a proposal, ridiculed by politicians in Limavady, to rebrand Benone and its tourist facilities ‘Benone Bay’ has been set out in a new council report .

The idea of rebranding the blue flag beach and its associated tourist facilities with the name ‘Benone Bay’ received short shrift at a December meeting of Limavady Borough Council, with one politician saying it was “like something from Home and Away”.

At the December meeting, the SDLP’s Gerry Mullan made the Australian soap opera comparison, adding: “This is consultants getting a lot of money for basically having a laugh.”

Councillors from the DUP, TUV and Sinn Féin were also critical of the proposed rebrand. The naming issue is on the agenda again for a council meeting scheduled for January 13.

A report by the council’s Director of Development, Valerie Richmond, outlined the thought process behind the ‘Benone Bay’ idea ahead of the January meeting: “As mentioned previously the present brands have been in operation for over 25 years and have become somewhat outdated. The new marketing concept will be used on interpretation, signage, publicity and merchandising items which will help to refocus the profile of Benone in global tourism terms as an important day trip and visitor attraction in the Causeway Coast and Glens Destination and also as a major attraction to the family and activity markets within Northern Ireland.

“The designers came up with a series of names as follows: Benone Holiday Beach; Benone Beach Park; Benone Beach Watersports and Pitch Up; Benone Beach and Pitch up; Benone Seapark and campsite

“It is felt that these names perhaps focused on the beach and did not adequately describe the caravan, golf and family facilities which are a revenue stream for Council.

“The two names which seemed to fit best were: Benone Dunes Beach Park and Campsite; Benone Bay Stay and Play; both of which adequately address the geographic fit. The former perhaps conveys that there are park facilities on the beach, and does not adequately reflect the accommodation facilities offered by a modern caravan site and holiday cabins.

“The latter which was the recommendation put forward in December for Benone Bay – Stay and Play was thought to be animated and attractive to visitors; with Limavady leading the way with a modern marketing name and future proofing the bay aspect along the seven miles of golden sand from Magilligan Point to Downhill”.