Surf centre, trampoline park and nine-hole golf proposal for Portrush site

The former Dunluce Centre.
The former Dunluce Centre.

Further details of proposals to convert the former Dunluce Centre into a family entertainment venue are to be revealed in Portrush next week.

A public consultation event will be held on Tuesday, April 11 at the landmark building which is to be given a new lease of life.

Belfast-based consultancy MBA Planning, which is hosting the pre application event, outlined early proposals. These include “remodelling, refurbishment and extension of the centre to creation additional indoor recreation areas, comprising a surf centre, wet play area, trampoline park and ancillary restaurant and public bar”.

The project could also see the introduction of a nine-hole golf/putting area within Metropole Park near the centre.

However, in a statement issued on behalf of their client, MBA Planning stressed it is a work in progress: “Over the last six months, the prospective applicant has carried out significant research on comparable facilities and consulted with various organisations to ascertain how the centre might be appropriately reinvented to provide a successful attraction that will be to the benefit to the town, the council area and beyond.

“He has carefully considered the mix of recreation and entertainment and what types of ancillary uses are required to support the facility to secure its long term future and ensure it develops into a significant tourist amenity and important driver of footfall for the town.

“The prospective applicant has developed a scheme based on his findings to date. The public consultation is the next step in the information gathering process. The prospective applicant is keen to hear the views of the local community on the scheme’s evolution to date. He stresses that the scheme is far from set in stone and he very much welcomes the input on the final concept for the site.

“After the feedback is reviewed, the design team will take stock and develop the plans taking account of the feedback where possible. The scheme is very much a work in progress and we welcome all input to provide a beneficial facility for the town that will endure.”

The prominent building has languished vacant since 2013. Legacy Coleraine Borough Council had moved to close the attraction after a decline in visitor numbers led to significant financial losses.

After the £1m sale was made public last December, Causeway Coast and Glens Council declined to comment, stating that such information “remains commercially confidential at this stage”.

The public engagement event will run between 2.00pm and 8.30pm at the former Dunluce Centre, Sandhill Drive.

Comments can also be sent in writing to MBA Planning, College House, Citylink Business Park, Belfast BT12 HQ, by April 28.