A £1million refurbishment project at Rathlin Island will deliver economic and social benefits for the island community.
That was the message from Rural Development Minister Michelle McIlveen following a day-long visit during which she toured the newly refurbished Manor House and learnt more about the island’s celebrated bird population at the West Light Seabird Centre.
The minister said: “The Manor House is of great significance to the island and I am delighted that my department has been able to support the Rathlin Development and Community Association with funding of £250,000 to realise its dream of bringing the property back in to use.
“The fully functioning Manor House has the potential to become a thriving social economic enterprise, generating income for the local community.”
Following acquisition of the Grade B+ listed building through a long term lease, Rathlin Development and Community Association (RDCA) undertook a programme to upgrade the interior and exterior to 3 star guest inn standard.
The project was completed through £734,000 from Coastal Communities Fund and £250,000 from the department’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme.
Michael Cecil, chairperson of RDCA. said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister to the refurbished Manor House and we are grateful for the support of her department, without which this project would not have come to fruition.”