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07/08/2017

Funding Announced To Develop Three Greenway Projects

A total of £75,000 funding has been allocated for three Greenway projects in Northern Ireland.

The funding, allocated from the Department of Infrastructure, is being provided under Stage 3 of the Small Grants Programme for Greenways.

It will allow the Councils to develop detailed designs and fully worked up project proposals ready for construction in the future.

The grants will be used to develop the following schemes: Ards and North Down Borough Council - Comber to Newtownards Greenway; Mid and East Antrim Borough Council - Greenisland Greenway and the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council – Carryduff Greenway.

Andrew Grieve, Department for Infrastructure said: "Encouraging greater use of active travel is a Programme for Government aspiration and the development of greenways has an important role to play in achieving this. They are a key part of our infrastructure as they provide safe and easy access to fresh air and exercise by encouraging more people to walk or cycle on their everyday journeys on a traffic free route.
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"Last year the Department launched 'Exercise – Explore – Enjoy: a Strategic Plan for Greenways' which sets out an ambition for the creation of a 1,000km network across Northern Ireland. This funding will help provide support to the three Councils to develop greenway networks that align with that plan. We look forward to working with them to bring their projects to fruition."

Sinn Féin MLA and Infrastructure spokesperson Philip McGuigan welcomed the announcement.

He said: "Last week I met with the permanent secretary of the department and encouraged the department to provide capital funding as quickly as possible to assist all local councils to devise and develop these projects in their areas. I would also encourage the Department to look at additional funding beyond this £75k to allow other Greenway projects to advance at a quicker pace.

"Greenway projects have proved hugely beneficial and attractive for local communities.

"These projects promote sustainable active travel and aid tourism and since the development of some key Greenway projects there has been an increase in people using them and benefit to local economies surrounding them.

"I would like to see the potential of Greenway projects realised across the North and on a cross-border basis.

"Implementing of the department's Greenway strategy is key to this."

(CD/LM)

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