JIM Nicholson MEP (UUP) has asked EU officials to investigate whether there are funding streams which could be accessed by Exploris – the Portaferry based aquarium.
Mr Nicholson said: “I have made enquiries with officials in Brussels to ascertain what avenues, if any, are open to Exploris in terms of drawing down EU funding.
“Strangford Lough is of European significance which may help strengthen the case because of the potential to use the aquarium to promote education and research with regards the Lough plus many other issues relating to fisheries and the wider marine environment.
“I hope that by determining whether there is potential EU support available will provide some information to assist the various stakeholders involved in identifying alternative funding for the aquarium. Those involved in deciding the aquarium’s long term future can then at least weigh up all the possible options in the days ahead before coming to a final decision.”