The provision of a chairlift to the top of Slieve Donard, highest peak of the Mourne Mountain range, was taken a step further at the monthly meeting of Newcastle Urban Council when they considered a communication from British Chairlifts Ltd on the scheme which has been mooted in the council chamber at various times over the past 40 years.
Having carried out an extensive survey of the area, the company, suppliers of similar services throughout Europe, feel that the scheme could be put into operation at a cost of £78,000 for the equipment and a further 50 per cent in civil engineering and other costs.
The annual upkeep and running costs are estimated at £3,260 for the proposed 3,150-yard long run.
It was considered that 250 people could be carried up and down the mountain per hour at a suggested charge of 10s and 15s return, with reductions in off-peak season.
The council decided to consult the Ministry of Health and Local Government and ascertain the grant that would be available for the scheme.