Northern Ireland news

Barry's site in Portrush reportedly sold to property developer Michael Herbert

The sun could be setting on almost a century of fun at Barry's Amusements as the site has reportedly been sold to developer Michael Herbert. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.
Paul Ainsworth

The Barry's Amusements site in Portrush has reportedly been sold to property developer Michael Herbert.

A much-loved family destination since it opened in 1926, the site in Portrush town centre is understood to have been sold for a sum above the £2.75 million asking price.

Barry's was put up for sale in November 2019 by owners the Trufelli family, who had initially hoped it would be sold as a going concern, with a future owner keeping the 2.23 acre site open for visitors.

In May of this year, it was revealed that the site was also being sold as a development opportunity, with the Trufellis saying the sale process had faced economic issues, including the effects of Covid pandemic. A spokesperson said at the time: "We have appointed Savills and Philip Tweedie & Company to market the site as both a going concern and a development opportunity."

Now the BBC has reported that the site has been sold been sold to Michael Herbert after attracting interest from a number of developers.

Multi-millionaire Mr Herbert is one of the north's richest individuals, who in 2020 sold his network of 146 KFC fast food outlets to UK firm EG Group.

The reported sale of Barry's Amusements for an undisclosed sum means it is likely the site at Eglinton Street, overlooking Portrush's West Strand beach, will be developed for housing.

Last year, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council voted not to issue a Building Preservation Notice for Barry's, with UUP councillor Joan Baird saying: "The Barry's site is not of any architectural significance or heritage. We should only issue preservation notices to iconic buildings, like the town hall for example, that have merit."

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