Saturday 22 September 2018 02:00:56 PM

Housing Executive Pushes Boat Out In Portaferry
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The Housing Executive has collaborated with a range of organisations to regenerate Portaferry, including the restoration of two properties on Ferry Street.

As part of the ‘Heritage in Housing’ scheme, the Housing Executive partnered with Portaferry Regeneration Ltd, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Ards and North Down Borough Council to deliver a Townscape Heritage Initiative project which was completed earlier this month. This included a Housing Executive investment of over £40,000, for the restoration of two vacant buildings, within the historic conservation area.

(l-r) Sinead Collins, Housing Executive’s Rural and Regeneration Manager; Angela Lavin, Heritage Lottery Fund Casework Manager; John Dummigan Portaferry Regeneration Ltd, Chairperson; Cathy Wright from the Housing Executive’s Rural and Regeneration Unit; and Alison Methven, Housing Executive’s North Down and Ards Assistant Area Manager

The two properties on Ferry Street were originally built in the late 18th century and have been carefully restored. This involved painstakingly dismantling and rebuilding the gable end of the rubblestone buildings as well as preserving their key architectural features. They are now two beautiful homes and will provide much needed affordable rental accommodation in Portaferry.

The Housing Executive has also previously helped to regenerate the local area, through the Rural Development Programme, by funding a range of projects to enhance civic pride in the local area. These include the installation of new signage, painting some of Portaferry’s previously unloved buildings and placing benches and hanging baskets at the lough shore for locals and tourists to enjoy.

The Housing Executive has collaborated with a range of organisations to regenerate Portaferry, including the restoration of two properties on Ferry Street.

Sinead Collins, the Housing Executive’s Rural and Regeneration Manager, explained why the organisation has got involved in rejuvenating Portaferry. She said: “By partnering with agencies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, Portaferry Regeneration Ltd and Ards and North Down Borough Council, the Housing Executive is able to help local communities preserve their history for future generations.

“Portaferry is a beautiful conservation area and I am delighted that we have been able to create affordable housing in its town centre while also maintaining the character of its historic buildings.

The Housing Executive also funded street furniture to boost civic pride.

“The Housing Executive is committed to fostering vibrant communities and Portaferry is a prime example of how we are we are helping to stimulate economic activity in local areas while enhancing their unique culture and heritage.”

Philippa Martin, Project Manager Officer for Portaferry Regeneration said: “The scheme is now coming to and end but we are always looking for new opportunities to improve our local built environment in terms of enhancing the old properties in the town.

“We completed ten separate properties from this scheme from seven buildings, one being made into three units. We certainly look at the bigger strategic picture and do what we can to improve the footfall into Portaferry and drive tourism.

“We are delighted with the results and are delighted with the support from the NI Housing Executive. We look forward to any suitable scheme opening up again in the future.”