A pub in Portrush has been granted more than £350,000 of public money towards the cost of a refurbishment and extension project as part of a major regeneration scheme in the town ahead of The Open golf tournament this summer.
An apartment complex development in the Co Antrim town has been allocated a grant of more than £480,000 under the same government funding initiative.
Vacant, derelict or under-used land and buildings in the area are being brought back to life thanks to regeneration funding from the Department for Communities (DfC).
The Urban Development Grant (UDG) forms part of the Department’s £17 million investment in Portrush to help regenerate the town in the run up to, and beyond, The 148th Open, to be hosted by Royal Portrush Golf Club in July.
To date, nearly £1 million of UDG funding has been allocated to three projects in the town:
• The Quays Bar on Eglinton Street, has been awarded £354,000 towards a refurbishment and extension;
• £485,000 has been awarded to the apartment complex at 22 Dunluce Avenue; and
• £116,706 has been provided to transform the old bank building in Main Street into an aparthotel with a bar/cafe.
Other projects have also been approved, with contracts issued totalling almost £2 million. But these are at an early stage, according to the DfC.
The department added that it is continuing to work with private developers to bring other schemes forward, with new announcements expected later this year.
UDG projects have a long lead-in time, therefore the majority of projects in Portrush will not be delivered in advance of The Open but will instead leave a lasting legacy for the town, the DfC has said.
Paul McNaught from the Department for Communities commented: “The Urban Development Grant scheme aims to reinvigorate town centres, encourage private sector investment and tackle dereliction. The Department’s investment to date has the potential to leverage £10 million of private funding as well as redeveloping dilapidated buildings and vacant sites. This is part of a wide ranging programme of initiatives that will transform Portrush in advance of The 148th Open’s return to Royal Portrush in 2019 and into the future.”
Other projects within the £17 million regeneration programme, such as the public realm scheme (which will deliver improvements to the streetscape), Revitalise (which will deliver improvements to shop frontages) and the new train station, are on schedule to be delivered in advance of The 148th Open commencing on July 14.