Lough Neagh Funding Secured

LOUGH Neagh Partnership has secured a funding package of £119,950 to develop the Lough Neagh & Its Waterways Destination.

The partnership are now encouraging the public to have your say in the projects by attending a consultation event on 21st or 22nd May.

Lough Neagh lies at the heart of Northern Ireland. It covers a surface area of 383km and has a 125km shoreline touching the local authority areas of Craigavon, Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Ballymena, Antrim and Lisburn.

The importance of Lough Neagh should not be underestimated, whether it is the mythical story of Finn McCool or the more scientific explanation that you choose to believe about Lough Neagh’s history, the largest natural resource in Northern Ireland is undoubtedly an ‘eco-treasure’ and is en-route to become one of the top tourist destinations in the province.

Four Local Action Groups (LAG), who were established to deliver Axis 3 of the EU Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme, came together to develop a co-operation project for the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 to fund additional recreation and tourism initiatives for the Lough Neagh & Its waterways Destination.

Their representative, Brian Duffin, Vice Chairperson of GROW South Antrim LAG comments, “Lough Neagh is an important asset in our area and we are delighted to be able to work with the other LAG’s around the Lough and with Lough Neagh Partnership to develop its tourism potential and attract visitors to our area by delivering on a number of exciting projects.”

Lough Neagh Partnership successfully submitted a tender to deliver the project which will run from May 2013 to February 2014. The project has a number of strands:

- Creation of a new Brand for Lough Neagh & Its Waterways

- Development of a Lough Neagh Map

- Development of a Lough Neagh App

- Development of a Boat User Guide for Lough Neagh

- An audit of all Lough Neagh visitor attractions, facilities, activities, accommodation, pubs, restaurants, marinas, facilities, Wi-Fi etc.

- The development & Implementation of a Marketing Plan

- A pilot information stand initiative (branded) for 20 businesses

- World Host training & Familiarisation visit

Lough Neagh Partnership has planned 2 consultation events to give Lough Neagh stakeholders the opportunity to feed into the following three projects;

1.Creation of a new Brand for Lough Neagh & Its Waterways

2.The Lough Neagh Audit

3.The Lough Neagh Heritage Lottery Landscape Partnership Bid

The events will both be identical and are taking place on 21st May at 3pm at Ballyronan Marina Centre and on 22nd May 8pm at the Gate Inn, Aghalee.

If you wish to attend either event please contact Orla McEvoy, Lough Neagh Partnership Tel: 028 7941 7941 or email orlamcevoylnp@gmail.com