Portrush Regeneration Programme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Paul Givan Paul Givan DUP 2:30 pm, 24th January 2017

I went to meet the people in Portrush golf club about this project very early on. They sought a meeting with me, and I met them. They outlined their vision to capitalise on the Open coming to Northern Ireland. It is a hugely prestigious golf tournament, with huge economic potential for Northern Ireland, and they set out how that could benefit the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area. I saw very much the opportunity that exists. That is why I continued to pursue the issue with Executive colleagues and through the Executive. I was pleased that, just before Christmas, we were able to get Executive agreement to establish a very high level working group, the inaugural meeting of which I chaired, to drive forward the regeneration project for Portrush. As part of that, I was able to launch a £3 million urban development grant scheme that is specific to Portrush. It is envisaged that the scheme will help to unlock the vacant and underused properties in Portrush and provide long-term regeneration for the town. Applications to the Department for the scheme are due by 22 February. In addition, my Department had previously committed £500,000 to take forward the design and economic appraisal work for two key projects in the town; namely, the public realm scheme and the train station development. Designs for both those projects are under way.