The Mayor of Derry and Strabane has warmly welcomed the announcement this morning by the Minister for Infrastructure, Nicola Mallon, that £1.28m is to be channelled into the greenway networks in Strabane and Strathfoyle.
The funding is part of a wider package announced for the green network across N. Ireland amounting to £2.8m, which will go towards the development of six greenway projects.
Match funding is now required to deliver the other 50% of the funds needed to progress the rest of the plans.
Speaking after the announcement, Cllr Tierney said it was another welcome step in the development of the City and District's green infrastructure network. "I am delighted at today's announcement which demonstrates the strong commitment from the Department to supporting local Councils in successfully delivering their green infrastructure plans," he declared.
"Despite the challenges of Covid-19 the Council's Green Infrastructure Team and Capital Development teams have been progressing with our own plans to enhance the greenway network, and much work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure we remain on track to deliver on these projects.
"This funding will allow us to move now to the detailed design phase for Strathfoyle Greenway and move forward plans to enhance developing the network in Strabane. It will also mean we are now in a much stronger position to leverage the rest of the funding needed and we will continue to work with our other partners in relation to this.
"The pandemic has really brought into focus the need for better green travel options to enable us to connect businesses, schools and communities in a safe and sustainable way. These links bring with them fantastic health benefits and we are seeing more and more people of all ages out walking, running and cycling over the past few months.
"I want to extend my thanks to the Minister for her support, and to acknowledge the hard work of the Strathfoyle Greenway Steering Group and the dedication of all our community partners across Derry and Strabane to supporting Council in delivering these projects. I look forward to seeing them move now to the next stage of delivery."
The total capital costs of the Strabane North Greenway project are estimated at £980,000, while Strathfoyle Greenway has a total capital cost of £2.56 million. Today's funding package will provide 50% of the costs for each scheme and the four Councils benefitting now need to provide business cases to the Department indicating part funding of the other 50%.