Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Councillor Brenda Chivers, has praised the the citizens of the Borough for their support in her New Year’s message.
Cllr Chivers said: “I want to first of all wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2019. As we look ahead, we also need to take time to reflect that there are loved ones who are not with their families this year as we move into 2019. Its a sad time as well as a happy time for all of us.
“I would also like to congratulate the recipients of the New Years Honours from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area who got various awards and I will be holding a civic reception for them early in the new year where I look forward to personally congratulating them.”
Reflecting on a busy and challenging year for the borough, the Mayor said: “We are going forward with renewed energy and ideas as we move into 2019.
“We live in, I believe, the most beautiful council area and this year sees Royal Portrush host The Open Golf Championship. The 148th Open will be played at Royal Portrush in 2019, marking a historic return to our shores for golf’s oldest and most international championship after nearly 70 years.
“The Open, which was played at Royal Portrush in 1951, when Englishman Max Faulkner lifted the famous Claret Jug, is expected to be the biggest sporting event ever held in the North of Ireland, generating more than £70 million in terms of economic impact and destination marketing benefit.
“We feel as though our Council’s golden coastline is the home to Irish and international Golf with Darren Clarke, saying “This is going to be absolutely huge for Northern Ireland and, indeed, Ireland as a whole. To have the world’s biggest and best golf Championship played at such a fantastic venue as Royal Portrush, with all the passion that the Irish fans will bring to the event, is going to be amazing.”
“Rory McIlroy, who lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014, added: “Royal Portrush is one of my favourite golf courses in the world. I think it will be a fantastic Open venue. They are going to add a couple of new holes to the golf course and I think that will be a great addition and will make the course even stronger. I’m really looking forward to it.”
“Portrush is currently undergoing a £17m regeneration programme funded by the Department for Communities. This includes a new train station, enhanced public realm, a Revitalise scheme aimed at business properties and a series of Urban Development Grants which aim to bring derelict and vacant properties back into economic use and act as a catalyst to leverage private sector investment. The programme represents a huge opportunity for Portrush and reflects its status as Northern Ireland’s premier tourist resort.
“This multi-million pound regeneration work, alongside Council’s programme of events, will ensure Portrush is looking its very best as we prepare to welcome the golfing world.
“Council is working closely with The R&A, Tourism NI and Royal Portrush Club ahead of the event to ensure The 148th Open is a memorable and successful experience for everyone.
“I also look forward to working with all partner agencies through council in delivering the best that we can for our area in 2019. I will endeavour to work hard for my remaining term in office as I have done, for all of the people, my goal has always been to be a Mayor for everyone in this borough.
“I have been fortunate to meet with many of our citizens through my various engagements, which has been a highlight of the year for me. I would like to thank everyone for the goodwill, kindness and hospitality which has been shown to me on so many occasions.
“At this time of year, I would encourage everyone to reach out to those around them, especially those who need warmth and goodwill most of all. This time can be difficult for those who are vulnerable, lonely and unwell but we can make a positive difference through the smallest of gestures.
“Looking back on 2018, I would like to thank everyone who has helped to raise funds for my chosen charity TinyLife. I have very personal reasons for supporting this organisation, and I’m grateful to everyone who supported our fundraising efforts so far.
“Since taking up the position of Mayor, I am grateful for the opportunity to meet so many of our area’s volunteers. We should all be thankful for the role they play and the difference they make.
“In conclusion may I wish all of you happiness and a peaceful New Year.”