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Double celebration at Exploris

Visitor Attractions

Posted by Tourism NI

Published August 9, 2017

Exploris Aquarium and Seal Sanctuary enjoyed a double celebration recently when it welcomed its 150,000th visitor during an official visit from HRH The Duke of Kent.

Double celebration at Exploris

Duke of Kent at Exploris NIThe royal visitor was very impressed by the facility and after a tour, he unveiled a plague to officially re-open the Aquarium. And the Cole family from Dungannon had the great thrill of being the 150,000th visitor through the doors.

The Mayor, Councillor Robert Adair, on welcoming the HM The Queen’s cousin commented: “It was my great pleasure to join HRH The Duke of Kent at Exploris and to be part of the celebrations of the fantastic success of the attraction. I am confident visitor numbers will continue to grow providing a vital economic boost to Portaferry and the surrounding area. I am thrilled at the success thus far.”

The hugely popular Aquarium has enjoyed an incredibly successful year of operation since it reopened to the public in August 2016 following a £1.5M refurbishment. Funding was provided by the Council and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to secure the future of Northern Ireland's only aquarium and seal sanctuary. Further investment is planned by the operators, Aquarium Exploris Ltd, who manage the visitor facility.

Exploris is developing strong partnerships with QUB, Ulster Wildlife Trust and Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute that will help the centre to continue to develop and improve. The Aquarium is currently working towards full membership of the British and Irish Aquarium, the Zoo Association and will mark its first birthday celebrations on Tuesday 15 August.

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Posted by Tourism NI

Produced by Tourism NI