Dunluce Centre sold, Waterworld on the market

Waterworld Portrush
Waterworld Portrush

Portrush landmark the Dunluce Centre is set to be converted into a family entertainment centre after being purchased for almost £1 million by leisure development company HMW Properties.

The redeveloped centre, which will boast climbing walls and a surf club, will give a new lease of life to the prominent building which has languished vacant since 2013.

The legacy Coleraine Borough Council had moved to close the attraction after a decline in visitor numbers led to significant financial losses.

Th new buyers are also understood to be considering development on land near the Dunluce Centre at Metropole Park.

A spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council declined to elaborate on plans for the site, stating that such information “remains commercially confidential at this stage.”

At a meeting of the council’s Leisure & Development Committee two weeks ago, the local authority has also decided to sell its Waterworld site in Portrush.

In a statement, a council spokeswoman confirmed that the Waterworld site is now “considered as surplus to requirement.”

In March, the Times revealed that the centre costs Council in the region of £43,000 for the eleven weeks it is open each year.

At its peak, the wet play centre attracted around 100,000 visitors per season.

However, this had fallen to just over 36,999 visitors in 2015.

DUP Councillor Trevor Clarke’s motion to defer the decision to declare WaterWorld surplus to Council requirements until a fully costed redevelopment plan is put in place was defeated at a full council meeting last week.

Cllr Clarke told the Times that there ws a sense the council is “selling off its key assets.”

“It’s a big town and there is no indoor council sport provision,” he stated.

“I wanted to make certain there would be upgraded facilities for local residents as well as tourists.”