A consultation on how best to use the Sulby Claddaghs site is expected later this month.
She said: ‘The department recently had to take the difficult decision to temporarily close Sulby Claddagh for the 2023 season due to increasing cost pressures posed by the administration, maintenance, site supervision and general upkeep, which has meant the site has been annually running at a significant financial loss.
‘A key part of the proposal was a planned consultation on the future use of the Claddagh and so to this end all options have not yet been fully considered and the consultation is the mechanism that will help my department to do this.
‘My department wishes to understand much more about how our island community would like to use the site, which is indeed common land, and to find a viable option for the longer term.’
A public meeting was held two weeks ago, where people put forward alternative suggestions for the operation of the site. The minister said these options are being considered.
‘However, it’s important to stress that the operation of the site will still need to comply with both the Sulby Claddagh bylaws as well as the guidance from the Fire and Rescue Service on fire precautions in campsites,’ said Mrs Barber.
‘Plans are now well under development to open for part of the 2023 season on a cost neutral basis with full details of dates and booking processes being announced by the end of this month.
‘There has been no consideration of selling the land.’
She added: ‘The decision on the future use of Sulby Claddagh will be informed around that consultation and I expect that predominantly will attract local input.’