Belfast Telegraph

Ards Borough Council gives Exploris aquarium gets its 'final' reprieve

By Rebecca Black

Ards Borough Council has allowed another two months for Stormont to make an offer of funding to keep Exploris open – but warned this will be the last extension.

On Wednesday night the council voted to allow the fifth reprieve for Northern Ireland's only aquarium.

It voted to close the Portaferry facility last September.

However, the council has agreed to allow Exploris more time in order to secure regional funding from Stormont to keep it open. It has submitted a business case to the Department of the Environment in January.

On Wednesday the council agreed to meet a series of additional conditions from the department to ensure a funding package for Exploris can be considered by the NI Executive.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "The council also responded positively to a further requirement that it give at least a five-year commitment to the aquarium and, as requested by the DoE, will seek the support of the North Down and Ards statutory committee for the same.

"The council will submit a final version of the business case to the DoE next week for consideration in April."

Belfast Telegraph


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