Funds to save Exploris agreed - Durkan

Published Thursday, 31 July 2014
Toggle font size

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has said the funds to save the under-threat Exploris aquarium in Co Down have now been secured.

Last year, Ards Borough Council said it was considering closing the Portaferry attraction saying costs were too much for them.

A private investor had been found to take on Exploris, however, difficulty over staff pensions prevented the sale from going through.

The news prompted public outcry and a campaign to save the marine centre began.

On Thursday, a statement from SDLP minister Durkan said the Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to provide the funding required to keep Exploris open and update its facilities.

He continued: "It is excellent news for all the supporters of Exploris, both near and far, and particularly for the people of Portaferry.

"They have fought a valiant campaign, highlighting not just the regional importance of Exploris, but have also argued that it is vital to the social and economic wellbeing of the town.

"I have already committed funding from DOE to ensure the local seal sanctuary stays open. That was a key building block for saving Exploris. Now that I have secured Executive funding, I trust that Ards Borough Council will be able to reverse its recent decision to close this wonderful facility."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
M in Belfast wrote (175 days ago):
Conor in north down, whilst there is no arguing that expansion and funding would be greatly welcomed for the aquarium, i find your comment to be strange. Did you take time to look at all the marine life? Read the information beside each one? Stop and discuss this with your wife and children? Point out and discuss the wonderful features to your children , let them ask questions and learn, maybe even touch some of the marine life? I have been to the aquarium around 3 times and there is no way you could cover the whole aquarium in fifteen minutes unless you walked in and walked out without any genuine interest in what you were looking at.
J.Falconer in COleraine wrote (177 days ago):
I cannot believe that our executive is putting this amount of money into what one described as a glorified fish tank.Our health service is creaking at the seams and this money pit is all they can think of to waste taxpayers money on.
Conor in North Down wrote (177 days ago):
I took my 2 girls and my wife to Exploris about a year ago and paid a £15 entry fee for two adults. Thankfully we didnt have to pay for our children because it took us 15 minutes to walk all the way through, complete waste of money. Either pay money to expand it and update it or close it down and forget about it.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (177 days ago):
I visited the place at easter and took 4 American friends who were visiting. The place was grubby and tired looking. The tanks were filthy and the variety of fish and inverts was a big leg down. I indersyand that they wanted to showcase species of fish etc.... that live of the coasts if ireland. But the same specieces in every filthy tank was boring. They should invest in updating their tanks to include more colourful fish from aroind the world. I am all for supporting our local industry but this is one i will be passing on in the future.
big john in sydenham wrote (177 days ago):
great cuts everywhere and we save a glorified fish tank ...only in norn iron
Email address*:    
House Rules:  
Your Comment:  
[All comments are moderated and will not appear immediately. Your name, location and comment will be displayed on this page if your post passes moderation.]
January snow
Tue 13 January 2015
Wed 07 January 2015
Archaelogical finds in Derry
Thu 22 January 2015