Commercial fishing improvements at both Portrush and Portstewart Harbours have now been completed.
Last week, the Mayor, cllr Michelle Knight McQuillan held a small reception in Portrush Yacht Club to hear about the infrastructural improvements that Council were able to deliver to improve facilities for commercial fishermen operating from these two harbours.
In July 2014 Council was successful in securing £181,000 of funding from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) administered through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD).
This funding enabled Council to deliver a suite of improvements at both harbours, with a total project cost of £249,600.00.
Mayor Knight McQuillan commented, “Without the provision of such grant aid, these infrastructural improvements at both our harbours would not have materialised.”
Work included 70 metres of new pontoons and wall supports, including water and electricity supply, and new access gangway; some quayside lighting; a fuel tank; an ice machine in the cold room; and CCTV, and an access control barrier at Portrush.
At Portstewrt Harbour improvments included plaster repairs to the quayside wall; installation of buffers and fenders; CCTV and an access control barrier.
While the main beneficiaries of the improvements are the commercial fishermen fishing for lobsters along the north coast, there are undoubtedly benefits for the large number of recreational boat owners berthed in both harbours as well as the fleet of chartered vessels offering sight-seeing and sea angling trips.
There is also a degree of cautious optimism in this locality following the recent funding announcements that Portrush in general, and the harbour area in particular, may be in line for a significant investment.