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Portrush set for makeover ahead of golf's Open championship in 2019

Published 08/09/2016

Communities Minister, Paul Givan is pictured with (L-R) with the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Alderman Maura Hickey and 2019 Open Championship Committee members Philip Tweedie and John Bamber. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Communities Minister, Paul Givan is pictured with (L-R) with the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Alderman Maura Hickey and 2019 Open Championship Committee members Philip Tweedie and John Bamber. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography
Royal Portrush is to host the Open Championship for the first time in nearly 70 years

Portrush is to receive a facelift before the town hosts the Open in 2019.

Golf's oldest championship will make a historic return to Northern Ireland after nearly 70 years and £500,000 from the Department for Communities will be used for design work aimed at overhauling the centre of the Co Antrim seaside resort and its railway station.

Additional funding is expected to be required once design work is complete.

The battle for the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush is expected to be the biggest sporting event ever held in Northern Ireland, generating more than £70 million for the economy.

Communities Minister Paul Givan said: "Portrush has long been thought of as one of Northern Ireland's top holiday resorts.

"With the announcement in October last year that Royal Portrush will host the Open Golf Championship in 2019, and possibly twice again in the future, this means that we have an opportunity to sustainably develop the tourism economy of Portrush and the North Coast in a way that will bring substantial benefits to Northern Ireland as a whole.

"To achieve this we need to invest in the infrastructure of the town, and these schemes in the town centre and at the train station will provide the foundation to allow us to do just that."

The Open was last played at Royal Portrush in 1951 when Englishman Max Faulkner lifted the trophy.

Northern Ireland will be at the centre of the global sporting spotlight from July 18 to 21 2019 as The Open is staged outside of Scotland and England for only the second time in the Championship's more than 150-year history.

Sports fans from throughout Ireland and around the world are expected to descend upon the town.

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