A revitalise scheme, which will enhance the visual appearance of business properties, is helping to transform Portrush as the town gets ready for The 148th Open.
Over 120 business are in the process of improving their buildings with a range of measures including fresh painting and new signage to enhance the unique character and streetscape of the seaside resort.
On completion, the total investment, funded by the Department for Communities (DfC) and delivered by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, will be around £460,000.
Revitalise is part of a wider £17m regeneration programme, led by DfC, which also includes a new train station for the resort and major public realm improvements.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers said she was pleased by progress to date: “We can already see how this revitalise funding is making a difference, ensuring that Portrush creates a positive impact on visitors who are encouraged to spend more time in the town and return again in the future. Portrush’s peninsular location and stunning scenery already makes it a stand-out destination and the town’s physical improvements are reaffirming its position as a premier resort destination.”
David Gray from the Department for Communities said: “The revitalise scheme aims to improve the appearance of businesses ahead of The 148th Open ensuring Portrush is looking its very best for the thousands of visitors during this very busy year and in the years to come as Portrush reaps the benefits the legacy an event of this magnitude will bring. The revitalise scheme is an integral part of the Portrush Regeneration Programme which will see £17m invested in the town to the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors alike. The Department would like to thank the Revitalise Steering Group for the important role they have played in the delivery of the Revitalise Scheme.”
Portrush Townhouse Boutique Hostel is one of the properties which has benefited from the scheme. Speaking about its impact, Operations Manager Tamar Brunton said: “The revitalise funding has made a huge difference. The buildings look lived in and loved which they deserve to be. This is a seaside resort and we depend on tourists but if our buildings don’t look inviting then no one will want to come here. The town deserves to be taken care off and this is what the scheme has done.”
The Revitalise project has been overseen by a Steering Group made up of elected members, local representatives, along with Council and DfC officials.
Alan Simpson, Revitalise Steering Group Chairperson said: “The Revitalise scheme has been a very welcome initiative which has been embraced by many Portrush businesses. Regularly referred to as Northern Ireland’s jewel in the crown as a destination it’s an extremely positive move to see the jewel being polished and ready for not just the first time Open visitors, but for the thousands of repeat visitors who continue to make Portrush the thriving attraction it has become and hopefully continue to be after the final putt has been sunk.”