Armstrong says Exploris reopening is tribute to commitment of representatives

Alliance Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong has said the reopening of Exploris is tribute to the dedication of Alliance representatives committed to saving it from complete closure.

Speaking before she visited Northern Ireland’s only aquarium today (Monday), Ms Armstrong said it had been a “long, hard process” but she was delighted the refurbished building was now readmitting the public, particularly as others had been opposed to investing in it.

“Exploris has seen a fantastic refurbishment which showcases Portaferry as a true tourist destination and is an economic boost for the entire Ards peninsula. Credit goes to the operator, Crumlin Road Gaol Ltd, and to all those who have helped us get to this point,” she said.

“The Alliance representatives in the area, including my predecessor Kieran McCarthy, Alderman Alan McDowell and myself, have fought hard for a number of years to get to this point, going through many battles with several other elected representatives over the issue.

“Indeed, I thought it strange Minister Michelle McIlveen officially reopened the aquarium, as some of her DUP Council colleagues publicly stated their opposition to investing in Exploris due to its location in Portaferry.

“I hope this reopening brings much needed tourist income back for businesses and the Strangford area, as it will become a vital part of the local economy again.”

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