21/02/2011

Portrush In Line For Four-Star Hotel

A major change for Portrush's iconic railway station may be on the line if the NI Social Development Minister Alex Attwood determines that it can be relocated to help increase tourism.

His Department will be working in partnership with Coleraine Borough Council to see if land, currently occupied by the rail tracks, could be freed up for development of a four-star hotel, spa and conference centre and create better access to the seafront.

The relocation proposal was a key recommendation in the Portrush Western Peninsula Strategy, launched in 2007.

SDLP Minister, Alex Attwood said: "This has potential to stimulate tourism in Portrush. The study is an important first step in determining if the ground on which the train station sits can be freed up for development.
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"The report will also establish the options available to re-locate the train station, the extent of the development ground and the potential costs of the relocation including building a new terminal.

"I want to encourage investment in our towns and cities that contribute to our economy.

"In my view, there is a good argument that pound for pound, government investment in urban regeneration is as effective an economic tool as other job interventions," he commented.

The Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Norman Hillis commented: "Coleraine Borough Council is grateful to DSD for their continued support for regeneration projects, not least in Portrush, but also throughout the entire Borough of Coleraine.

"The current location of the train station in Portrush has been identified as a prime area for appropriate development and the proposed study will take into consideration the feasibility of relocating the station some 500m up the track and will explore the best options for the site.

"This project is part of wider Portrush regeneration plans which aims to accelerate the rejuvenation of Northern Ireland's premier seaside resort," the Mayor concluded.

(BMcC/GK)

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