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Gildernew meets Blackwater Regional Partnership

26 August, 2009 - by Westminster


Sinn Féin Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA today met with representatives from the Blackwater Regional Partnership regarding the Ulster Canal.

During the meeting the minister received an update on the restoration of the 12km stretch of canal that links Clones with Upper Lough Erne and was also informed of the potential social and economic benefits of re-watering of the canal to Lough Neagh.

After the meeting Minister Gildernew said:

“I recognise the potential that exists in the restoration and regeneration of the Ulster Canal and how this project could boost the local economy and tourism potential of rural communities. It would act as a catalyst for the regeneration of towns and villages in counties, Armagh, Monaghan and Tyrone and bring long term benefits for the local communities along the route of the canal.

“Opportunities currently exist under the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, including through the ‘Basic Services for the Economy and Rural Population’ and ‘Village Renewal and Development’ programmes. These initiatives aim to improve the living conditions of those living in rural areas through the development of basic services and village initiatives which promote community development and regeneration.

“The Blackwater Regional Partnership is making a valuable contribution to developing its area and I would urge it to work closely with the Local Action Group responsible for the delivery of this aspect of the Rural Development Programme.”

Blackwater Regional Partnership (BRP) was set up to provide a vehicle through which Dungannon and South Tyrone, Armagh City and District and Monaghan County Councils might adopt an integrated approach to rural development.

The long-term objective of the restoration of the Ulster Canal is to link the Shannon to Lough Neagh through the Erne waterway.

The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Notes to editors:

Further information on the Rural Development Programme and the assistance available can be found at www.rdpni.info or by calling 0845 3044 509 to request an information pack.

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