‘Lobby so that £17m is spent properly’ in Portrush

DUP cllr Trevor Clarke

DUP cllr Trevor Clarke

A Coleraine councillor has told a public meeting in Portrush that the residents of the town ‘must lobby’ to ensure that money promised by the Government ahead of The Open in 2019 is spent properly.

DUP councillor Trevor Clarke was speaking at a public meeting set up by concerned ratepayers of the Portrush in the Town Hall last week.

As we revealed earlier this month, funds from the Department of Social Development, will see regeneration projects taking place across the seaside town in the run up to The Open Golf championships. T

The funding, first promised back in 2015, will come in two tranches - £17 million for projects that could be completed prior to The Open, and a second tranche of £10 million, which will be used for the redevelopment of the harbour area.

Residents at the meeting asked how the money would be spent in the town. Many felt that the money would be used as a ‘cosmetic exercise’ to ‘spruce up the town’ for the golf, and that the locals wouldn’t benefit from the investment.

Commenting, DUP cllr Clarke told those present: “We need a steer from the community, this money needs to be spent to benefit the whole community, it’s not all about tourism. We must lobby to ensure this £17 million is spent properly,” he said.

One resident said: “Three years will pass in a flash. We know that the golf will benefit us, we will have golf traffic for many years to come. We need a legacy from it.”