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Hazzard grants £8,000 to assist Derry and Strabane to develop greenways

10 November 2016

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has allocated £8,000 to Derry City and Strabane District Council to take forward plans to develop local greenway paths.

The funding, allocated through his department’s small grants scheme, will be used to develop a feasibility study for the North West Greenway project.

The proposed route is part of a strategic plan for 1000km of greenway development across the north, launched by the Minister earlier today.

The paths, for use by walkers, runners and cyclists young and old, will be traffic free and many will utilise disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments, reinventing them for use for generations to come.

Minister Hazzard said:  “I am delighted to award £8,000 in funding to Derry City and Strabane District Council to develop a feasibility study for their proposal for greenways in this area. Developing the North West Greenway will boost not only the opportunities for active travel, but leisure and recreation opportunities and even cycling tourism - all of which should result in a more buoyant local economy.         

“Of course, this is only part of the jigsaw and my strategic plan for greenways sets out a plan for pathways across the north and cross border, focusing on the development of a 400km primary and 600km secondary greenways network that walkers, runners and cyclists can share. 

“The greenway paths will connect towns and cities to the villages and countryside from east to west and north to south, and will also be integrated with other modes of transport, making it easier for people to leave the car behind.  Many of the proposed schemes are located on disused railways, riverside paths, abandoned canal towpaths or flood embankments and this will breathe new life in to this redundant infrastructure improving the quality of life for local communities and enhancing the experience for visitors.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Hilary McClintock said: “The funding will allow Derry City and Strabane District Council to progress with a detailed feasibility study for network development in the North West that will ultimately deliver a long term cohesive regional network and shorter term sustainable travel routes between urban and rural areas, that will benefit local communities in terms of their social, economic and environmental well-being.”

 Concluding Minister Hazzard said:  “More and more people are choosing to be active with their travel options and encouraging everyone to lead a more active, healthy life by providing local opportunities is something I and my Executive colleagues are determined to deliver. 

 My strategic plan sets out a framework for a more informed and strategic programme to develop greenway routes across the whole of the north.  While the overall target is ambitious and long term, this is a starting point on which to build a lasting legacy for future generations.”

 “I am currently considering a capital grant scheme to assist councils further in the delivery of their greenway schemes. Collaborating with councils has been a key part of the development process for this strategic plan and I look forward to working with Derry and Strabane in the coming months and years.” 

A copy of the Strategic Plan for Greenways can be viewed or downloaded from https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/publications/exercise-explore-enjoy-strategic-plan-greenways.