Members of the Bushmills Village Forum this week met with NI Policing Board Officials and local representatives to discuss the purchase of the now disused police station building in the centre of the village.
The meeting was convened by North Antrim MLA and Policing Board member David McIlveen.
Supported by Moyle District Council, the community group wants to ensure that the building “remains in use for the good of all residents in Bushmills”.
Speaking after the meeting Mr McIlveen said: “Today’s meeting was extremely positive and with help from Moyle District Council I believe we have made significant steps forward to seeing this historic building remain in the hands of the community.
“Very few buildings evoke more emotions in a community than that of a police station and as the building has served the people of Bushmills well on behalf of both the Royal Ulster Constabulary and now the PSNI it would be very disheartening to see it bought and turned into apartments or the like.
“I am really impressed by the energy and expertise that exists within the Bushmills Forum and following our meeting I have no doubts that no stone will be left unturned in order to see this building continue to serve the needs of the people of Bushmills and I look forward to continuing to support that end in whatever way I can.”
Chairman of Bushmills Village Forum Bob Hedley was also in attendance and said: “I greatly welcome the efforts made on behalf of the Forum by David and totally endorse his comments about the significance of the previous usage of the building and its strategic placing in the centre of the village.
“Over the next few weeks there will be a consultation exercise with the villagers as to the best use for the station, and the land attached behind it, to maximise its usefulness to the community.
“There have already been positive enquiries from business sources.
“The Forum has requested professional assistance from the Moyle District Council to further the project. Mr Sandy Wilson from the North Antrim Community Network is already providing professional support and other options will be considered on the advice from the Causeway Enterprise Agency.”