Committee approves funding for White House

The White House. INNT 37-005-FP
The White House. INNT 37-005-FP
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The council’s Leisure Committee has approved a request from the White House Preservation Trust for an extension of grant funding of £20,000 for one year.

The organisation, which has been responsible for saving and redeveloping the borough’s oldest and most historic building, has requested the money to allow it to implement a marketing and PR campaign aimed at promoting the venue as a tourist venue and educational resource.

During their monthly committee meeting, held at the White House on Monday evening, members were given a presentation by project manager Raymond McIlrath about how the building was saved from demolition and completely transformed as part of a £1.15m project. He spoke about the property’s “glorious history” and described it as “a prestigious heritage asset”.

Members agreed to back the Trust and approved the funding request.

That decision still has to be ratified when full council meets on September 30.

Meanwhile, during the discussion on the matter, Alderman Billy DeCourcy called on the council and the White House Preservation Trust to take steps to ensure that the White House is promoted as part of the “North Belfast tourist corridor”.

The DUP man said that both bodies should be doing more to market the historic site through the Belfast Visitor Centre, and taking advantage of the thousands of cruise ship passengers who visit Belfast each year.