CLOSED DUNLUCE CENTRE COSTS £42,525 PER YEAR

editorial image

The Dunluce Centre in Portrush is costing ratepayers £42,525 a year - even though it is closed.

The dormant centre was shut down by Coleraine Borough Council back in 2013 following poor visitor numbers.

However despite the closure, the building is still hitting the pockets of rate payers.

We can reveal this week that there has been three expressions of interest for the site, including one from a Portrush Primary School, and another from the owners of Movie House Cinemas.

Tonight (Tuesday), at a meeting of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, members will debate the possibility of Millstrand Integrated Primary School moving to the site.

A motion has been submitted by DUP councillor George Duddy, which members will debate at tonight’s Corporate Policy and Resources committee.

The motion calls for Council to ‘investigate the possibility’ of the site being used by the school.

“Millstrand Primary School’s current site is not suitable, it is not conducive to safe learning,” said the DUP man.

“As the Mayor of Coleraine last year, I made many visits to the school, and I know that their vision for a proposed school at the site would involve the whole community.

“I brought the motion forward as I feel that we have a duty to the people of the area. The Dunluce Centre has been a milestone round the neck of ratepayers of this area since it opened in 1993, it has always cost us money.

“I am aware that the draft northern area plan says that the site should be developed for tourism, but the plan is only a draft.

“We as a Council have planning powers, and in reality, planners will decide what is done with the site.

“There are over 230 children at this school, they are the heart of Portrush.

“The school’s proposal must be discussed in conjunction with any commercial interest.

“I just question if Causeway Coast and Glens is too focused on tourism.

“Revenue from tourism only accounts for 12 to 14 weeks of the year. The people of Portrush, the children that attend schools, like Millstrand are in the town all year round,” he said.