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Open invitation to buy Bushmills police base

By Margaret Canning

Published 19/01/2016

The property on 96-98 Main Street in Bushmills is in a prominent position in the village
The property on 96-98 Main Street in Bushmills is in a prominent position in the village

A former PSNI station on the north coast is on sale for £150,000 — a possible development opportunity ahead of The Open’s arrival in 2019. The property on 96-98 Main Street in Bushmills is in a prominent position in the village.

And with The Open coming to Royal Portrush in 2019, it could be a perfectly-timed opportunity to build on the expected influx of golfers and tourists to the area, it’s been claimed.

Bushmills is a popular tourist destination, home to the Old Bushmills Distillery and well-loved hotel The Bushmills Inn.  It is also close to the Giant’s Causeway.

Plans for the Causeway Coast and Glens Council (CCGC) to buy the site and hand it back to the Bushmills community under the ownership of the Bushmills Trust have fallen through.

Willie Graham, an Ulster Unionist councillor on CCGC, said the economic development of Bushmills had been neglected.

“This is an opportunity for development in the town, and it’s needed badly,” he added.

The property is on sale through Lambert Smith Hampton. The old station building is at the front — and according to LSH’s brochure, the back could be used for homes, subject to planning.

The Open Championship is one of the world’s biggest sporting tournaments and will be hosted by Royal Portrush from July 18-21, 2019 — the first time it has been held here in 68 years. It’s expected to attract 200,000 spectators.

When the event was announced, a spokesman for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister said: “With the estimated spend per golfer at £385 per day, or £2,500 per trip, hosting major golf events plays a key role in realising our ambitious plans to grow tourism in Northern Ireland to a £1bn industry by 2020.”

Pub and restaurant owners in the area are anticipating a lift in trade. Paul Kane, manager of The Distillers Arms pub and restaurant in Bushmills, told the Belfast Telegraph in October: “When Royal Portrush hosted the Irish Open in 2012, it was incredibly busy for us. In fact, it was our busiest time ever. We will be hoping for the same crowds this time.”

Bushmills PSNI Station was closed around three years ago following an estates review by the police, in which 34 out of 83 stations were closed.

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