Major Portrush facelift up to par in time for Open

Ian McQuitty from the Department for Communities, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Brenda Chivers, and Rebecca Henderson from contractor FP McCann, view some of the new paving and picnic benches
Ian McQuitty from the Department for Communities, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Brenda Chivers, and Rebecca Henderson from contractor FP McCann, view some of the new paving and picnic benches

A major revamp of Portrush is nearly complete with just a few months to go before the great and the good of the golfing world descend on the seaside town.

The Co Antrim resort is expecting a huge influx of visitors this summer when it hosts the Open Championship for the first time in nearly 70 years.

In the House of Commons yesterday, Northern Ireland minister John Penrose said the Open Championship is expected to inject around £80 million into the local economy,

A multi-million pound regeneration programme has been ongoing for some time and, with just a few months to go before Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and co are expected to arrive, the local council said a public works scheme is now almost finished.

The holiday town has been adorned with new granite pavements, lighting columns, embellished railings with contemporary benches and picnic tables.

The roads are also being resurfaced in the coming weeks, the Causeway Coast and Glens council said.

Mayor Brenda Chivers said the revamp signified an “exciting new era of opportunity”.

She added: “Portrush has attracted visitors for generations and this public realm transformation will help to secure the resort’s future appeal, setting it apart as a high-quality seaside destination.

“The investment has helped to create a streetscape which matches the beauty of the town’s distinct geography, befitting of its position as a major tourism hub.”

A wider £17 million regeneration project also includes a new train station costing around £6 million.