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AGM 2013


The provisional date for the 2013 AGM is:

8.30pm on 25th November 2013

Formal statutory notices will issue in due course.

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.


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.

Website Launch

On Friday 22nd February the Market House in Portaferry was packed to capacity when the website for Portaferry's Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) was launched. The launch was followed by two heritage presentations, 'Sailing Ships and Sea Captains of Portaferry' by Allison Murphy and 'Two Portaferry Sailing Vessels' by James Elliott.

The evening began with a welcome from Doug Edmondson, Chairman of Portaferry Regeneration Ltd, under whose auspices the THI programme has been developed. Gary Laverty, THI's Project Manager, then provided details of the website which can be found at www.portaferrythi.com  Here can be found details of all properties in Portaferry which qualify for grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund's initiative. The website is continuously being updated so everyone can be aware of all developments under the scheme and all complementary events which are taking place.

The launch was followed by an illustrated presentation from THI's Education Officer, Allison Murphy, on 'Sailing Ships & Sea Captains' which provided a well-researched background to the great maritime history of Portaferry. All those attending were fascinated to learn that for over a hundred years Portaferry was at the forefront in shipbuilding and that ships, captained by local master mariners, sailed all over the world. James Elliott, whose family had businesses in Portaferry, then gave a very interesting talk about the two ships which they had owned.

Supper was provided and THI officers were available to answer any questions posed.

Among those attending were MP Jim Shannon, MLAs Mike Nesbitt and Kieran McCarthy and Councillor Joe Boyle.


Download the Sailing Ships & Sea Captains Presentation


Townscape Heritage Initiative

£1.28million Lottery Boost to Restore Portaferry's Built Heritage

In May 2010 The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced its support for plans to regenerate the Portaferry Conservation Area. The first-round pass decision has earmarked over £1.28million through the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) programme for Portaferry Regeneration Limited's proposals to restore the town's historic centre. The award includes development funding of £49,100 to enable more detailed proposals to be developed and the organisation now has 12 months to submit the fully developed plans in order to secure the full award.

The THI scheme is focussed on the commercial heart of the town which contains a significant number of historic buildings and structures that contribute to Portaferry's special townscape character. It offers the opportunity to bring back into sustainable use some of the currently redundant or underused historic buildings on High St, in the Square, on Ferry St and on the shore front. A programme of activities will be developed to encourage local people to learn about and become involved in the heritage of their area. It will provide opportunities for employment, education and learning, and for training in traditional building skills.

The scheme will act as a catalyst for further regeneration within the area, benefiting the local community, property owners, traders and visitors to the town, through various community initiatives.


More information can be found at the Portaferry Townscape Heritage Initiative website.