New harbour on way for Portrush

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There was more good news for Portrush this week as Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland confirmed that the redevelopment of the harbour is a ‘priority’ for him.

Speaking in Stormont last week, Minister McCausland confirmed that his department would be carrying out an environmental impact assessment and an economic appraisal to identify how best to develop the resort’s harbour.

The news comes on the back of last week’s announcement that £1 million is to be spent upgrading the West Strand.

The redevelopment of the harbour is one of the proposals contained in the ‘Portrush Western Peninsula Strategy’ published by Coleraine Borough Council.

As part of the stategy, plans for the harbour include a 250 plus berth marina, permanent pontoons, new restaurants and bars, a new lifeboat house and new boardwalk for the harbour site.

Responding to a question from East Londonderry MLA Adrian McQuillan for an update on the development project, the Minister confirmed that a meeting will take place tomorrow (Wednesday) with stakeholders.

Minister McCausland said that after Wednesday’s meeting, his department would ‘take the lead’ in carrying out assessments to identify how best to develop the area.

He said: “ I believe that the development of the harbour will help to promote Portrush as a premier international destination.

“With any major development it is important that we learn from previous studies so as to create a facility that is commercially viable, helps to improve economic development and offers a wide range of community uses.

“The project will help to build on my Department’s investment of £2·3 million in the public realm on the East Strand promenade and Station Square and the installation of free Wi-Fi for Portrush town centre and the beaches.”

MLA Adrian McQuillan has welcomed the comments from the Minister, he said “This is more positive news for the Coleraine area.

“Last week we had the A26 annoucement and now the regeneration project for Portrush is starting to move. I have no doubt that the long-awaited upgrade of the A26 will bring more visitors to the area.

“The A26 upgrade coupled with the redevelopment of Portrush, can only be described as an economic driver for the whole of the East Londonderry area.”