Communities Minister, Paul Givan has today announced an investment of £500,000 to advance the regeneration of Portrush ahead of The Open Championship in 2019.
The investment from the Department for Communities will see £250,000 respectively, provided to Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council to take forward the high-level design of a public realm scheme for Portrush Town Centre, and similarly to Translink for the re-development of Portrush Train Station.
Speaking at Royal Portrush Golf Club, the Minister said: “Portrush has long been thought of as one of Northern Ireland’s top holiday resorts. With the announcement in October last year that Royal Portrush will host the Open Golf Championship in 2019, and possibly twice again in the future, this means that we have an opportunity to sustainably develop the tourism economy of Portrush and the North Coast in a way that will bring substantial benefits to Northern Ireland as a whole. To achieve this we need to invest in the infrastructure of the town, and these schemes in the town centre and at the train station will provide the foundation to allow us to do just that.
“My Department is providing £500,000 to commence work on these two key projects; both of which have been identified as high priorities in the town’s regeneration strategy. The views of local people in the development of these design plans will be crucial and I would encourage all those with an interest to engage with the design teams in future consultations during what is an exciting and important period for Portrush.”
The Minister visited Portrush after officially opening the £1.5 million public realm improvement scheme in Portstewart which has transformed the entire Promenade area.
The scheme was funded in partnership with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and involved the replacement of the existing footways with new high quality surfaces; improved street lighting and the replacement of the existing promenade railings with a high quality stainless steel balustrade along the entire length of the seafront.
Minister Givan said: “This public realm scheme has transformed the entire promenade area of the town with the provision of the high quality footways and stainless steel railings. I have no doubt the scheme will make the town a more attractive and vibrant place for those who visit and indeed live in the area. The investment in the public realm is evidence of my Department’s commitment to improve and enhance the quality of the resort which will also contribute to an economic boost for the town.”
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Alderman Maura Hickey was delighted to see the scheme in Portstewart officially opened to the public. She said: “As both an elected representative and a local resident, it’s great to see the difference this scheme has made to one of the jewels in the crown of the Causeway Coast. I’d like to thank residents, visitors and traders alike for their patience while we delivered this scheme over the past year. Everyone has been really supportive of the scheme and hearing the positive feedback from the local community means that the Department and the Council have made a positive difference to the town and visitor experience in Portstewart. Once again, Council’s partnership with the Department for Communities has yielded a brilliant result for the Borough!
“I would also like to thank the Minister for the funding he has announced today for the continued regeneration of Portrush ahead of the Open Championship in 2019 and look forward to the huge economic benefits that this tournament will bring to the whole of the Causeway Coast and Glens area.”
The Minister concluded: “The investment in Portrush and Portstewart, coupled with the revitalisation schemes I have recently announced for Ballymoney and Coleraine, demonstrate how my Department is helping to tee up the North Coast as we prepare to welcome the world’s golfers to our shores during the Irish Open in Portstewart in July 2017 and The Open in Portrush in 2019.”