Latest News from Portaferry Townscape Heritage Initiative

Ballymoney THI

The Ballymoney THI is managed by Ballymoney Regeneration Company and Ballymoney Borough Council.

Ballymoney was the venue on Friday 20th Sept 2013 were the THI Project Managers Forum was held and attend by all of Northern Irelands THI Project Managers and members of Ballymoney Borough Council and Ballymoney Regeneration Company, the group were presented with a talk on Ballymoney THI properties and a walking tour of the town and a site visit to one of the THI projects. The afternoon was concluded with a presentation and discussion on the current changes to VAT requirements on THI projects / properties.

Click here to download more information on the Ballymoney THI Project.

BPT P&S Meeting Report

PRL, through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, is actively supporting the proposals to form a Building Preservation Trust (BPT) in the Portaferry/Strangford areas.

The idea arose when a group of interested people decided that there was a great need to preserve our great maritime past in some way. Advice obtained suggested that the best way would be to form a BPT with a maritime-themed end-use in mind.

On August 21st over twenty five enthusiastic parties, from both sides of the lough, met in the Credit Union in Portaferry. Messages of support were received from those unable to attend. The meeting's agenda included a talk from Lorraine Robinson of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, question and answer sessions and a general discussion on the way forward. The general consensus was that the formation of a BPT would have to be the first priority.


In September a steering committee met to take forward all the paperwork involved. A registered charitable company limited by guarantee must be set up first. This must have a name, objectives, trustees and an AGM to appoint a chairman, secretary and treasurer.

(The type of trust must also be decided, i.e. whether it is for one building or is a revolving trust to include others.)

Everyone felt it was important to keep awareness raised in the maritime aspect of this project and suggestions are to be sought from all interested parties. Some suggestions made were:-

• Possible series of maritime talks

• Maritime heritage trail

• Link with SLLP re maritime events

• Signage

• Links with Downpatrick Museum for advice.

• Genealogical links with fPPC

• Talks to decide type of building which would best meet the needs.

In addition, once the onerous paperwork is complete, a public meeting will be called.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for other ways to celebrate our maritime past - or if you have any maritime memorabilia - then please contact Allison Murphy, THI Education Officer, on 028 427 29598.

Portaferry THI / CITB Presentation

Portaferry THI Project Officer (Gary Laverty) give a presentation on the Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme in Portaferry and progress to date to a meeting of Sustaining Traditional Building Skills Forum at CITB headquarters.

Friday 21st 2013.

Minister Nelson McCausland Visit To Portaferry THI

During a walkabout of the town centre, the Minister was accompanied by local political representatives and members of the Portaferry Regeneration Group.

Minister McCausland said: "I welcome the opportunity to visit Portaferry and meet with members of the Portaferry Regeneration Group and hear about regeneration proposals for the area. My Department's Housing Strategy sets out proposals for supporting town and city centre regeneration through a revitalised Living over the Shops (LOTS) initiative

"I was therefore pleased to be able to hear the views of local business owners and community representatives on how initiatives such as this could regenerate Portaferry."

23rd May 2013


Titanic Visit

During the school year 2012/13 the year 8 pupils of St. Columba's worked with Allison Murphy, THI Education Officer, on an intergenerational project about the history of Portaferry.

A large part of this involved learning about the great maritime history of the town. The pupils also discovered many 'Titanic' links in Portaferry so the final activity of the project was a visit to the Titanic Quarter in Belfast to visit the dry dock, pumphouse and Titanic Belfast. In the latter the pupils were especially lucky as they were able to see the grand staircase – usually closed to the public – and to meet the media executive, Alex McGreevy.