Speaker for 2nd April 2019

President John McGlade and Club Secretary Graham MacDonald, seen here at the talk by Alan Jeffers (nearest camera)

Coleraine Probus, back to the future of Portrush

Following on from a recent Probus talk about a mystery from the town's past, the Coleraine club was pleased to meet a sadly 'camera shy' Alan Jeffers, from The Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, with a talk about the future and ”The Portrush Regeneration Project”.

Alan Jeffers first became involved with the 'Regeneration' of Portrush ten years ago. He came to the job with considerable experience from long term involvement with the regeneration projects for Lisburn and Portadown, before joining the team in the most popular traditional tourist resort in N. Ireland.

Alan described how the Regeneration Programme will help transform the town into a successful, high quality resort. The £17 million Executive endorsed initiative involves a major programme of capital works helping to transform the town in the run up to the 148th Open Golf Tournament in July 2019.

For Alan, regeneration is not a 'one off' effort, it must not be allowed to stop. He likened it to pushing a large snowball uphill. If we stop pushing the snowball will roll back and flatten those endeavouring to progress the economy. And that boils down to private enterprise being encouraged to take up the initiative when public funding is reduced.

The long established success of Portrush had its origins in a far seeing town council; enthusiastic entrepreneurs; the natural beauty of the area; the train and (needless to say) the golf. Alan's talk showed how over the last 150 years all these factors had developed and worked together to make Portrush the number one holiday destination in Northern Ireland. The 'trick' was currently how best be maintain that first position and develop it even further

Alan’s presentation was professional and the question and answer, interactive nature of his talk was appreciated by the members. It certainly looked towards a brighter and even more popular Portrush, than the one we sometimes see when trying to find a parking space on a sunny Sunday - but there's plans ahead to even ease that famous feature of our favourite seaside town!

(Thanks once again to Graham for the help with this write-up and 'Kens Kamera' for an informal look at our speaker)