Causeway Coast and Glens has emerged as a major beneficiary of the UK Government’s latest budget.
Three projects in the Borough will share funding worth £4.9million, representing a significant investment in the area.
The biggest allocation of money has come from the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, which will see more than £1.6million set aside for an extensive development project at Portrush Recreation Grounds. As well as this, Ulster University will receive almost £3milllion towards a Drug Discovery Food and Pharmaceutical Innovation Centre.
In Cushendall, the Grow The Glens initiative has secured £300,000 from the Community Partnership Fund for a Digital Hub based in the village’s vacant police station.
Welcoming confirmation of the funding, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes said: “This announcement is a major success story for our Borough and it is a hugely encouraging endorsement for Council and our counterparts in The Glens community and Ulster University.
“The Levelling Up Fund invests in infrastructure to improve everyday life across the UK, and we’re set to realise the benefits of this in both Portrush and the university site in Coleraine.
“Confirmation of funding for the Recreation Grounds comes as work gets underway to transform the site into an outdoor space befitting of a leading tourism resort. It will also serve to complement the recent regeneration work completed in the town in the lead up to The Open in 2019 as we look ahead with optimism to the event’s return in 2025.
“Coupled with the funding confirmed by Department for Communities earlier this month, it will act as a major catalyst to ensure that Portrush is ready to takes its place on golf’s global stage once again while reconfirming its position as Northern Ireland’s leading tourism destination.
“For Ulster University, the Fund will allow it to capitalise on existing international excellence and staff expertise to develop an innovation centre. This development will secure our Borough’s place at the cutting edge of scientific discovery and encourage our future life science entrepreneurs – a sector which offers important opportunities for the future.
“Alongside this, a successful bid to the Community Ownership Fund by Grow the Glens is a considerable step on the path to sustainable development in this rural part of our Borough.
“As the gateway to the Glens, the village of Cushendall is seeking to match its undeniable natural beauty with growth and prosperity. The group’s aspirations resonate strongly with Council’s Community Plan and corporate strategies and the project represents an exciting model for rural development in our Borough and beyond.
“These three initiatives all have their own unique attributes but collectively they offer huge opportunities for Causeway Coast and Glens to build on previous successes, enhance its infrastructure and secure its position as a highly desirable and well-resourced place to live, work, and visit.”