30/06/2003

Derry City pontoon nears completion

Work on the newest infrastructure development in the city of Derry, the Foyle Marina, is nearing completion.

A joint project between the Londonderry Port and Cruise Initiative, the 200-metre long 2.5-metre wide pontoon strip and facilities adjacent to the Derry City Council offices will be fully open for business by mid-July.

Derry, like Waterford, is approximately 17 miles from the open sea, and it is hoped that the new facility will attract marine visitors looking for safe berths, an attractive destination where they can relax, unwind and re-stock before the next leg of their journey.

Managed and maintained by Londonderry Port, the facility will be available for all leisure boat owners. A fee structure will be drawn up based on daily, weekly, monthly and annual rates.

Londonderry Port received funding for this new facility under Peace II funding through the department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Brian McGrath, Chief Executive of Londonderry Port, said “This is an exciting development for the City as it will bring activity to the river and create a new facility for local leisure and tourism interests. The pontoon builds upon an important natural resource and is the culmination of a great deal of work among the partners in the Cruise Initiative. The visible results on the river demonstrate the benefits of close partnership working between the Harbour Commissioners and Derry City Council which is vital for the growth of marine tourism in the region”.

The new pontoon is based on a similar facility in Waterford, where an initial 175-metre pontoon was installed in 1998, but due to demand it was soon followed by two additional pontoons of a similar size.

Marking the pontoon’s opening, a two-day regatta has been organized for July 5 and 6. This will involve a dinghy race on Saturday and a cruiser race from Derry to Moville on Sunday. Boat clubs from throughout the North West have been invited to take part.

It is expected that the annual regatta will expand each year, establishing a maritime festival for the city.

With restricted access by means of a security gate, the new 200-metre pontoon has berthing serviced with water and electricity on both sides.

(SP)

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