Portrush refurb takes a £3 million step closer

THE regeneration of Portrush moved another step closer this week when Coleraine Council agreed to proceed with a £3 million plan of improvement.

The bold plans to rejuvenate the premier tourist resort in Northern Ireland have been broken down into three phases of work - Station Square scheme, Promenade scheme and the West Bay Green area (Dhu Varren area).

Members of Coleraine Borough Council’s Policy and Development Committee met on Tuesday night to discuss how to progress the plans to the next stage.

Councillors were informed that Council has approached two main funders - the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Department for Social Development - for 50% of the funding of the schemes.

The Station Square scheme, which is on going, and the West Bay Promenade plans, are projected to cost around £3.6 million.

“Station Square work is well underway and due for completion in April this year,” Moira Mann of Development Services told members.

“A letter of offer with funding of £1,000,000 was accepted from DSD for the Station Square Environmental Improvement scheme matching Council’s budget of £1,000,000.

“With regard to the next phase of work, Council’s allocation in the capital programme for the West Bay Promenade was £250,000 short of the required budget.

“Application has been made to the NITB under the 2011-12 Tourism Development Scheme for funding towards the Station Square scheme and an award of £250,000 has been approved and a letter of offer is pending.

“The additional contribution from NITB allows Council to save £250,000 on Station Square which can then be used for the next phase of work on West Bay Promenade.”

Miss Mann also said that an application has been made to the Tourist Board for for funding from their 2012-13 budget for the Promenade plans.

“At this stage an offer of £250,000 is anticipated however the need for additional support to deliver the scheme has been raised and it is hoped that further funding will be forthcoming in the new financial year.”

The Committee agreed to accept the offers of funding from the NITB and to proceed with design work for the West Bay scheme.