COLERAINE Borough Council is finalising a Technical Feasibility Study for Portrush Harbour as a key element of the Sail West Project. Council is a partner in the Project which seeks to develop the marine leisure infrastructure, such as high quality harbours, along the North Coast of Ireland and the corresponding coastline of Scotland.
The Sail West Project is funded through the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body with Donegal County Council as the Lead Partner. The Portrush harbour project received a grant of 167,747 euro.
The objective of the Technical Feasibility Study is to generate the necessary information for future decision making on addressing the current technical problems which beset the harbour and which constrain its appropriate development. A long term primary objective of the study is to assist in ensuring Portrush fulfils its potential as a safe port of choice for yachtsmen and in shore mariners throughout the year.
Mayor of the Borough Alderman Maurice Bradley, explained: “The Portrush harbour area is a key element within the Portrush Regeneration Strategy and a strategic node for the regional leisure marine tourism industry.
“An in depth and comprehensive technical assessment of the harbour is essential to generate possible future options for the harbour’s appropriate development.
“There is also considerable further work to be undertaken, including comprehensive public consultation, before any decisions regarding the harbour are taken”.
A key element of the study is an advanced customised computer simulation model of the harbour which evaluates its performance in all weather conditions.
“This is a very powerful, cost effective and invaluable tool which both highlights the technical problems but also the impact of possible solutions” explained Mayor Bradley,
He continued “In tandem with other complementary research being undertaken as part of the study Council will shortly have a comprehensive technical assessment of Portrush harbour and a very strong basis on which to construct any future options”.
The computer modelling is complemented with a series of geophysical and bathymetric surveys together with the sinking of five boreholes in and around the harbour. A harbour condition survey is also being completed.
The Technical Feasibility Study will be completed in the coming months.