End of an era as one of NI's richest people reportedly purchases Barry's Amusements complex

The Barry's Amusements complex in Portrush has been reportedly sold to former KFC mogul and property developer, Michael Herbert, for an undisclosed sum.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 8:54 am

Belfast businessman, Michael Herbert, made headlines in 2020 when he sold the British and Irish network of 146 KFC restaurants to UK based EG Group.

The much loved Barry's Amusements site was put on the market as a going concern in 2019 however it was the relisted as a property development opportunity in May 2021.

The business was founded by and owned by the Truffeli family for 95 years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Barry's Amusements has been reportedly sold to one of Northern Ireland's richest businessmen.

When the family confirmed the business was up for sale in 2019 they said it wanted to "pass the baton to someone who will ensure generations can still enjoy the fun that Barry’s offers our local and wider community."

SDLP MLA, Cara Hunter, for East Londonderry, said she was seeking a meeting with Mr. Herbert's organisation, the Herbert Group.

“While it is welcome news a buyer for the Barry’s site has been found I understand there will be concern among the local community about plans for the area going forward.

"While any investment in the area will have benefits, I understand Barry’s is a place held dear in the hearts of many in the North Coast and across the entire North.

"Being from Portrush myself, I have my own fond memories."

Ms. Hunter added: “I will be seeking a meeting with representatives of the Herberts’ Group to find out how they plan to develop the site and will be encouraging them to consider the history of the site and its significance to the local population when drawing up their development plans.

"The public have been clear that they want to keep Barry’s in some shape or form and I would hope the new owners will take this into consideration.

"There is an opportunity to develop a modern family entertainment complex on this site.

"There are also concerns around the building of more expensive apartments in this area, local people already feel they are being priced out of Portrush and I hope this too will be considered.

“I am glad this site will no longer lay dormant. Barry’s closure was a sad occasion for many people and I hope this development will contribute to the regeneration of Portrush and the wider North Coast.”