West Bay Promenade in Portrush is a stunning seaside promenade and a focal point of the town.
The promenade provides an important connection between the beach, the harbour, the town centre and the local train station and is visited by countless members of the public each year.
Earlier this year the promenade underwent a fabulous £1.1 million makeover, implemented by Coleraine Borough Council and part funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund. The project was designed to upgrade and improve the site as part of a wider regeneration scheme for Portrush.
The project included the resurfacing of the 1100 metre promenade; the replacement of the promenade’s guardrails; and the installation of bespoke seating. A new high quality lighting scheme was also introduced into the site, whilst beach access was improved and new, modern public furniture was included.
The new-look promenade was officially unveiled to the public on 5th June 2014 and was met with praise from all involved.
Councillor George Duddy, the Mayor of Coleraine, said:
“The West Bay Promenade scheme is a significant step forward in delivering Council’s vision for Portrush, through the Portrush Regeneration Strategy Western Peninsula.
“The area is a vibrant and welcoming public space for the Borough’s residents and the many visitors we seek to attract. Everyone is able to walk and cycle safely in the area having mutual respect for each other’s space on the promenade.
“We will seek to maintain the same high design and build standards in all aspects of the Portrush regeneration programme as we continue to progress.”
In 2012 a comprehensive public consultation process was conducted, with the detailed design approved by the Council in May 2013. Structural surveys followed, along with a geographical survey and a topographical survey.
Work began on the project in November 2013, with Newtownstewart Construction Ltd appointed as the contractor to deliver the public realm scheme. Meanwhile, WYG designed the scheme and was the project manager whilst The Paul Hogarth Company were Landscape Architects.
WYG is a global programme, project management and technical consultancy practice, comprising more than 1,400 specialists. WYG provide a range of services and has been involved in a diverse array of projects from a power station in Cumbria to an urban regeneration scheme in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking about the project in Portrush, WYG Director, Harry Ferson, said:
“The work has revitalised what had become a tired promenade. One of the great successes of the project has been the lighting scheme, which has been the subject of a great deal of positive feedback. There have been numerous comments on how great the lighting is and how much safer people feel when along the promenade.”
Throughout the construction programme, the beach remained accessible, with restrictions kept to a minimum. Coleraine Borough Council updated the general public on the project’s progress and advised if the works resulted in restricted or no access.
As well as ensuring public safety, the project also remained mindful of wildlife within the area, utilising the services of a marine mammal observer to monitor porpoises. The observer kept a watchful eye on the porpoises, to ensure that they were not in the locality during piling works.
Discussing the importance of the project, Harry said:
“It was great to be involved with a project that will have such a big impact on the community – in fact it has already had such a big impact on the community.
“Portrush is a popular seaside resort, so it was great for us to be associated with a scheme which ran so well.”