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9th Dec 2005: Restoration of Portrush Town Hall

ONE of the Borough's most familiar landmarks, Portrush Town Hall, has been brought back to life following an extensive restoration and refurbishment programme of both the interior and exterior building.

Portrush Town Hall Exterior
Portrush Town Hall Interior
Portrush Town Hall Interior
Portrush Town Hall Interior

The 18 month project to restore Portrush Town Hall to its former glory has been completed and he building is open for bookings from January 2006.  Bookings can be made via the Leisure Services Department, Cloonavin, Tel:  7034 7234.  Members of the public are invited to a special preview of the building before the opening in January.  A public viewing day will be held on Wednesday 14th December, viewing hours between 2pm and 5pm and 7pm and 9:30pm.

Portrush Town Hall was designed in the Scottish baronial style complete with gables and a 'witch's hat' turret. Constructed of red brick with striking bands of cream and black brickwork, the building formed an important group with the nearby Victorian railway station. Internally too, it was an imposing construction with its circular reading room as an unusual central feature.

Designed by the famous architectural firm Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon and built in 1870, Portrush Town Hall was the headquarters for the local council and was one of the glories of the sea front. Indeed it has always been regarded as a landmark of the town.

In association with Hearth Revolving Fund (the building preservation trust),  and thanks to generous grant support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Coleraine Borough Council has carried out a complete refurbishment and upgrade of the premises.

The old cinema projection room which was once housed in concrete and dominated the main hall has been removed and now the elegant arched windows bath the room in light as originally intended. A musician's gallery has been restored along the full length of the hall and delicate plasterwork has re-emerged from behind thick layers of paint.

When the building reopens to the general public in January, it will not only be totally restored but will boast 'creature comforts' such as new toilets, improved access and comprehensive theatrical equipment which will enable Portrush Town Hall once again to host plays and pantos to a 21st century standard.

The public are invited to come along on the 14th and see from themselves the building and rooms restored to their former glory.