New-look Station Square

SOCIAL Development Minister Nelson McCausland and Tourism Minister Arlene Foster have unveiled the £2.3 million Station Square public realm scheme in Portrush.

The regeneration project has created a high quality, modern urban environment, in the heart of Portrush town centre.

During his visit to the town, Mr McCausland said: “This public realm scheme has totally transformed this part of the town, and creates an environment that will provide a warm welcome to the many visitors who come to the town each year.

“It has also helped provide an economic boost to the town, by creating an ideal setting which has allowed a new retail unit to open in the station building a few weeks ago. This has already brought 20 valuable new jobs to Portrush.

“The completion of this scheme is the result of a combination of hard work and determination of all those involved, including Coleraine Borough Council, the design team and the contractor.

“I am delighted that it has been completed before the Irish Open Golf Championship so that the many people from across the world who will visit the town over the coming days can benefit from and enjoy this new public space.

“This is the first initiative to be delivered from the Portrush Western Peninsula Strategy and I would like to add that my Department will continue to work in Partnership with Coleraine Borough Council to ensure the other initiatives in the strategy are implemented to assist Portrush in achieving its full potential.”

Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster described Portrush as one of the Province’s traditional seaside resorts and a popular destination for visitors.

Station Square is a main focal point in the town and this investment will help to create a very positive first impression for tourists,” she said.

“The project will also be an important economic catalyst for the town encouraging private sector investment and by helping to create a more vibrant and dynamic town centre. In addition the regeneration of the amphitheatre will create a more effective events space which is something the area previously lacked.

“[This]week, the town will help host the Irish Open Golf Championship at nearby Royal Portrush Golf Club and I would like thank everyone who worked extremely hard to ensure Station Square was completed on time.”

The public realm improvement work includes new stone paving, a new events space, with covering canopy, a mosaic for the base of the new amphitheatre, extensive bespoke seating and new lighting.

The total cost of the scheme was £2,322,000 which included £1,322,000 from the Department for Social Development (DSD), £250,000 from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and £750,000 from Coleraine Borough Council.

FP McCann was appointed as the contractor and the Paul Hogarth Company designed and managed the scheme.

The Mayor of Coleraine Borough Council, Sam Cole, said: “The Station Square scheme is a significant step forward in delivering Coleraine Borough Council’s vision for Portrush through the Portrush Regeneration Strategy.

“The area is an attractive, vibrant and welcoming public space for the Borough’s residents and the many visitors we seek to attract.

“The development of Portrush has brought many agencies together and our vision for the future of this town is coming to fruition. The historical elements of Portrush remain and the developments now complement what has always been our jewel in the North Coast.”