At the latest meeting of Ards Borough Council the local Councillor seconded a motion that would have allowed the popular aquarium to remain fully operating for the next six months – giving the Northern Ireland Executive time to fully assess the submitted business case.
The motion – tabled by the SDLP – was defeated, with Councillors instead supporting plans for a further one month extension.
Councillor Kellie Armstrong said: “Alliance has always been determined the save Exploris and is continually working hard to secure a sustainable solution, beneficial to all.
“I believe suspending any further decision on Exploris for six months is the most realistic way to save the facility long term.
“People across Northern Ireland have made it clear that Exploris is a treasured tourist facility – enjoyed by the young and old. Rather than simply giving up, we owe it to the public to do everything possible to save it.
“Six months is adequate time for the appropriate work to be undertaken around the business case already submitted by Ards Borough Council. We need to give the process time and allow everyone involved the relevant opportunity to make a final decision based on facts – rather than pushing for a decision now that may be the wrong one.”