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22/08/2007

Minister Lends Support For Portrush Transformation

Northern Ireland Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie, visited Portrush yesterday to lend her support to ambitious plans to transform the North coast resort.

Ms Ritchie said: “Coleraine Borough Council and the Portrush Regeneration group have produced an exciting vision to regenerate the Western Peninsula of the town. I share this vision for Portrush and have agreed that my Department will work in partnership with the Council to take forward the proposals in the strategy.

“The plans are ambitious and have the potential to transform one of Northern Ireland’s most important seaside resorts. Its location, close to the Giant’s Causeway and the other tourist attractions of the North Coast, means that it has a major role to play in boosting tourism here and in Northern Ireland as a whole. I am sure that by working together we can jointly secure the future prosperity and success of the Portrush and the whole North Coast.”

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During her visit, the Minister met elected Councillors from Coleraine Borough Council and members of the Portrush Regeneration Group and was given a guided tour of the area, which the regeneration strategy aims to develop. She also enjoyed a helicopter ride around Portrush, organised by Coleraine Borough Council to provide her with a clearer view of the scale and likely impact of the planned regeneration scheme.

Welcoming the Minister’s visit to Portrush, the Mayor of Coleraine, Maurice Bradley, said: “The Portrush Regeneration Group has provided an exciting blueprint for the transformation of Portrush. It contains a series of proposed developments, which can contribute to the social and economic revitalisation of the resort. Council welcomes the strategy and I would congratulate the Members of the Group on commitment and vision they have shown on bringing it to this stage. The plan comes at a time when tourism in Northern Ireland is making great progress and the future looks bright.

“On behalf of Council I would like to thank the Minister for the work of the DSD Officials who have made a substantial input to the strategy to date. The priority now is the delivery of the plan and converting the vision into reality. We look forward to working in partnership with DSD on the implementation stage. This is an ambitious plan and I am confident that a partnership approach is the key to successfully meeting the challenges that lie ahead.”

(LC/SP)
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Minister Lends Support For Portrush Transformation - Northern Ireland Social Development Minister, Margaret Ritchie, visited Portrush yesterday to lend her support to ambitious plans to transform the North coast resort.