Cllr Kellie Armstrong said: “I hope this extra month will give Ards Council and the Executive more time to work together to agree a properly funded business plan to keep Exploris open.
“Exploris is a valuable asset, not only to the local area but to the whole of Northern Ireland. We will lose our only aquarium and an important resource if it is closed. The loss of £3million of tourism income to the Ards area will be devastating to the local community and local businesses.
“I would like to pay tribute to the work of all those involved in the ‘Friends of Exploris’ campaign group, who have worked tirelessly to encourage Ards Council and the Executive to keep Exploris open. I would also like to thank the council officers who worked to produce a business plan that defines a workable option to keep Exploris open. That case is with the Environment Department and the Executive to agree the funds.
“There is still much work to be done to save Exploris, but I hope we will see a positive outcome.”