Assembly Motion: Exploris – Northern Ireland Aquarium
‘That this Assembly acknowledges the regional significance of Exploris – the Northern Ireland Aquarium in terms of tourism, culture, science, education and environmental protection; recognises its importance to the economy on the Ards Peninsula and across Northern Ireland; calls upon Ards Borough Council, working with the local community and businesses, to formulate urgently a coherent plan for investment and financial support; calls upon the relevant Ministers to offer assistance in developing a plan; and further calls on the Executive to respond quickly and positively to such a proposal, with a view to ensuring this facility has a sustainable basis.’
[Kieran McCarthy, Anna Lo, Stewart Dickson]
Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “Alliance has made it clear that we will continue the fight to save Exploris, which is a valuable asset not only to the local area but Northern Ireland as a whole.
“Alliance is working at a national and local level to ensure urgent provision is made by the relevant bodies to save Exploris, as we believe failure to do so will have a detrimental effect on Northern Ireland. If Executive officials worked with Ards Borough Council then we could put together a proper plan to save Exploris.
“I have already received correspondence from the Enterprise Minister and the First and deputy First Ministers, which spoke of possible support from officials for any plan.
“Alliance Councillors on Ards Borough Council have a motion calling on the local authority to rescind its earlier agreement to close Exploris – but as yet not all UUP Councillors have signed it despite the UUP Assembly Group indicating that they support the campaign to save Exploris by submitting an amendment to my motion.
“I hope all Parties will agree our motion is the best way forward. It is certainly the most realistic way to achieve a successful outcome.”