Business

£17m Portrush regeneration project tees off ahead of Open Championship

GREEN LIGHT...Planning permission has now been granted for the £6 million regeneration of Portrush Train Station

LESS than 18 months until Rory McIlroy and the rest of the world's top golfers tee off at The Open, work has begun on the £17 million transformation of Portrush.

The 2019 Open Championship is being held at Royal Portrush and ahead of the major international sporting event preparation is underway to ensure the popular coast tourist town is best prepared.

Works have already begun on a public realm scheme, while planning permission is now secured for the £6 million regeneration of the town's train station. The Department for Communities (DfC) also confirmed yesterday that as part of the regeneration programme it will be providing £500,000 to revitalise the frontages of businesses in the town.

Paula Campbell from DfC said it is important to grasp the "massive opportunity" presented to Portrush and Northern Ireland from The Open.

"This £17million investment by DfC represents our commitment to delivering improvements to the town for the Championships, but also importantly for the longer term prosperity of the town for the many people who live in and visit Portrush. The improvements put the town in a position to maximise the huge economic benefits that this tournament and its legacy will bring.”

The re-development of Portrush train station is one of the key projects in the Portrush regeneration programme. The project, which is led by Translink, has now reached a key milestone with planning approval being granted for a new fit for purpose station.

Translink head of projects, John Glass anticipates the new station will be open ahead of the major international event next year, with work starting in the "next few weeks".

“This is an exciting new development for the town, providing modern facilities to cater for growing passenger numbers and supporting local tourism," he said

“The new station will offer fully accessible, modern waiting facilities, improved passenger information and signage to local amenities and attractions. The enhanced frontage onto Eglinton Street, will create a more prominent sense of arrival to the town as a key gateway to the Causeway Coast. We expect to have contractors on site from spring 2018 with the new station being completed ahead of the Open Championship in July 2019. Some preliminary work to demolish the warehouse adjacent to the listed Station building will commence in the next few weeks.”

Public realm works to improve the streetscape in Portrush is underway and is being led by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. It is hoped that the work, which includes new granite paving, lighting and street furniture, will complement the other recent investments in Portrush including Station Square, East Strand and West Bay promenade.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Joan Baird believes the extensive regeneration programme will help the area deliver a "world class event".

"We want this regeneration to serve as a catalyst for future growth. As Northern Ireland's most visited seaside town, Portrush is one of the Causeway Coast and Glens' key tourism assets and I look forward to seeing this regeneration programme make a lasting difference to the town's long term economic outlook.”

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