Gilford company rebuilds Gobbins national treasure

One of the steel walkways is fitted to the rock surface at The Gobbins.
One of the steel walkways is fitted to the rock surface at The Gobbins.

A Gilford company has been building bridges over salty waters - after they signed up to help recreate The Gobbins.

Engineering business, DNC Fabrications Ltd, played a crucial role in rolling out the highly intricate operation on the Antrim Coast, which set out to restore a path around the cliff edge originally crafted in 1902.

Following the Second World War, the Gobbins fell into a state of disrepair, but several years ago Larne Borough Council sought funding to reinstate the historic tourist attraction. In February 2014, DNC Fabrications Ltd won the contract to manufacture and supply the iconic steel footbridge for the restoration.

The quality and workmanship of the iconic footbridge exceeded the expectations of the main contractor, and the Gilford company was asked to manufacture and supply a further nine steel bridges, as well as a host of other structures - including seventeen steel structures, a dry well and raised flooring inside the cave, walkways, staircases, a spiral staircase, and a viewing platform.

Working closely with contractor, McLaughlin & Harvey, as well as local material suppliers, DNC Fabrications Ltd manufactured the new bridges inside their Gilford factory. The stainless steel bridges, stairways and handrails - all designed to withstand maximum wave impact - then had to be delivered to the Islandmagee site and carefully lowered over the cliffs and into position.

“Over the past year, DNC Fabrications Ltd has manufactured the stainless steel structures to specific technical drawings, and the last of the bridges was delivered at the beginning of May,” explained Company Director, Dean Church.

“The company has made its mark in the engineering world. The superior quality of the workmanship of DNC Fabrication Ltd. can now be viewed by the public - and enjoyed by all for many years to come.”

This may be their first project so close to the icy waves of the Irish Sea, but DNC Fabrications Ltd are no strangers to a challenge! Since being founded in 2004, the company has proven again and again that it is willing to go the extra mile to take on projects beyond the valleys of Gilford - having recently completed a joint venture in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

Run by director, Dean Church, DNC Fabrications Ltd currently employs 23 members of staff, and already has a string of projects in the pipeline for the near future. Watch how the bridges were installed at The Gobbins on the ‘DNC Fabrications’ YouTube channel, and find further details on the company’s current and future projects at: www.dncfabrications.com