Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has confirmed £2.5 million for the development of greenways as part of her budget allocations for this financial year.
The Department will continue supporting local councils to deliver greenways in Strathfoyle, Strabane North, Forth Meadow, Lagan Gateway.
The Minister made the announcement as she was on site to see the progress on the Strathfoyle Greenway in Derry on a visit to the city.
The Strathfoyle Greenway is a 2.7 kilometre extension to the Waterside Greenway, which will link the residential area of Strathfoyle to Derry City and the wider Greenway network. The Department is completing resurfacing and new road layout as well as creating a shared use path and a new Toucan Pedestrian Crossing point on the route.
Minister Mallon said:
“I am delighted to be here today to view the progress that has been made on the ground developing the Strathfoyle Greenway. We are working in partnership with Derry City and Strabane District Council to develop this community space for walking, wheeling and cycling, which are becoming more popular than ever.
Greenway development is part of our programme to create public spaces which have a wide range of benefits for health and well-being and also for the environment. Greenways also have the potential to attract tourism. That is why I am continuing to support these projects from my £20 million Blue/Green Fund. I have also allocated £0.6 million to support preliminary work on a number of other Council greenway proposals and I am ready to make further funding allocations available to Councils that are in a position to start construction in 2021/22.
I am committed to creating more active travel opportunities and developing sustainable infrastructure projects like this one which will help deliver cleaner, greener, sustainable active travel infrastructure across our island. I look forward to seeing this project when it is completed and hope that people right across the City of Derry will be able to enjoy this active space.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Brian Tierney, welcomed the Minster to the City and acknowledged her commitment to enhancing the green infrastructure in the North West area.
"Extending the local greenway network and providing accessible and more environmentally friendly alternatives to the road is high on Council's agenda and one of the key priorities identified in our Green Infrastructure plan. The Strathfoyle greenway also has an important role in connecting local communities, and linking people to key places in and around our city.
"I want to thank the Minister today for continuing to support these plans. The Covid pandemic has really brought into focus the need to enhance health and wellbeing through improving access to our open and outdoor spaces. I look forward to seeing the delivery of the Strathfoyle greenway in the summer of 2022 and the continued growth and development of our green infrastructure and the many health and environmental benefits that will bring."
Paul Hughes from the Enagh Youth Forum said:
“It's refreshing to see continued progress being made on the new Strathfoyle / Maydown shared path. And fingers crossed construction on the new Strathfoyle Greenway will commence at the end of this year. Our local community plan is becoming a reality. We would like to thank Minister Mallon and DFI for investing in our rural communities. This improved infrastructure will connect communities, improve health outcomes; help to combat the worst effects of social exclusion and promote active travel."
Notes to editors:
- £1.9m has been confirmed for continued support to local councils to deliver greenways in Strathfoyle, Strabane North, Forth Meadow, Lagan Gateway.
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