Published Monday, 12 March 2012
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Buildings will be demolished, repaired, secured and painted in a bid to enhance the area before tourists flock to attend the major tournament at the end of June. A number of gap sites will also be landscaped to create urban parks.
The money is being handed over to Coleraine Borough Council with work beginning this week.
First on the list is the demolition of the Metropole Hotel in Portrush, followed by the creation of an urban park at Dunluce Avenue and Kerr Street. The Strand Hotel in Portstewart will also be razed to the ground.
Mr Attwood said the investment in the north coast towns is "money well spent."
"Tourism makes a significant contribution to the local economy.
"On top of that the Irish Open comes to town at the end of June and the International North West 200 road race in May."
He continued: "If we want tourists to stay longer, if we want more tourists to come, then tackling major eyesores and dereliction will certainly do that."
Mr Attwood said that his aim is to "benefit tourist numbers in the long term," but also to improve the character of the built environment.
"These sites are scars on the beautiful causeway coast, in towns with a great history, great popularity and a great future."
However, the minister said "this must not be a short term fix."
"What concerns me is that we have developers on the North Coast with money to build and develop on the one hand, while on the other, letting sites that they own decay and scar the area.
He added:"I will be calling these developers in, telling them to get their act together and deal with the eyesores they own. I am also calling in the NAMA Advisory Board in respect of their properties.
"I hope to take this message across other council areas. So today is a model for future action across Northern Ireland. If we deal with dereliction, vacant properties and abandoned building sites, we create the opportunity to attract inward investment and tourists making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest."