Jeffrey Donaldson & Michelle Gildernew & Edwin Poots attend ULSTER CANAL meeting in Caledon
Stormont representatives attend ULSTER CANAL meeting in Caledon
Wednesday 26th August 09 both the Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA and Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA, along with Lagan Valley MP MLA, the Rt. Hon. Jeffrey Donaldson visited Caledon.
The Stormont representatives visited Caledon to attend a Blackwater Regional Partnership showcase on the need for the Ulster Canal to be re-opened to its former glory.
Canals are being restored and regenerated all over Europe as people realise their potential. The Blackwater Regional Partnership believe the Ulster Canal restoration is an iconic project that has the potential to provide direct benefits for the local communities living along the canal corridor. This includes the economic benefits in providing employment during construction and the resulting increased tourism and private investment opportunities.
Following the welcome from the Mayor of Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council Cllr Mulligan, Brian Cassells from Inland Waterways provided a overview of the important geographical location of the Ulster Canal in connecting the waterways North and South, highlighting the benefits and spin-off effects for all and not just the boating community.
Philip McDonagh, PriceWaterhouseCooper, who had been actively involved in completing a socio-economic study on the Ulster Canal continued on from Brian with a presentation to showcase best practice from other canal restoration projects and highlighted lessons to be learnt to ensure the success of the Ulster Canal.
Waterways Ireland and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaelacht Affairs provided a brief overview of work completed to date and the timescale set for the completion of the work to complete the Upper Lough Erne to Clones stretch of the canal. .
Following on from a very informative afternoon the chair of Blackwater Regional Partnership added ‘we believe the canal is an iconic cross border project that can provide economic and social benefits for the region. The Ulster Canal goes through the rural areas that suffer from low economic activity and with a development of this nature huge positive impacts can be generated from tourism spend, employment, health & well-being, regeneration and much much more.
We are very encouraged by the North South Ministerial Council Agreement in 2007 that Waterways Ireland should proceed (funding provided by Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs) with the re-opening of the canal from Upper Lough Erne to Clones. We very much enjoyed the attendance of Ministers Gildernew and Poots and former Executive Minister, the Rt. Hon Jeffrey Donaldson. “
Ten things you should know about the Ulster Canal
|This project has been part funded by European Union INTERREG IIIA Grant Programme through the Department of the Environment Northern Ireland and the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Ireland.|
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