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BPT P&S Meeting Report

PRL, through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, is actively supporting the proposals to form a Building Preservation Trust (BPT) in the Portaferry/Strangford areas.

The idea arose when a group of interested people decided that there was a great need to preserve our great maritime past in some way. Advice obtained suggested that the best way would be to form a BPT with a maritime-themed end-use in mind.

On August 21st over twenty five enthusiastic parties, from both sides of the lough, met in the Credit Union in Portaferry. Messages of support were received from those unable to attend. The meeting's agenda included a talk from Lorraine Robinson of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, question and answer sessions and a general discussion on the way forward. The general consensus was that the formation of a BPT would have to be the first priority.

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In September a steering committee met to take forward all the paperwork involved. A registered charitable company limited by guarantee must be set up first. This must have a name, objectives, trustees and an AGM to appoint a chairman, secretary and treasurer.

(The type of trust must also be decided, i.e. whether it is for one building or is a revolving trust to include others.)

Everyone felt it was important to keep awareness raised in the maritime aspect of this project and suggestions are to be sought from all interested parties. Some suggestions made were:-

• Possible series of maritime talks

• Maritime heritage trail

• Link with SLLP re maritime events

• Signage

• Links with Downpatrick Museum for advice.

• Genealogical links with fPPC

• Talks to decide type of building which would best meet the needs.

In addition, once the onerous paperwork is complete, a public meeting will be called.

If you have any suggestions or ideas for other ways to celebrate our maritime past - or if you have any maritime memorabilia - then please contact Allison Murphy, THI Education Officer, on 028 427 29598.