Six NI cycling and walking greenways get £2.8m funding boost

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon cycling on the Blaris Greenway in LisburnInfrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon cycling on the Blaris Greenway in Lisburn
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon cycling on the Blaris Greenway in Lisburn
A further six traffic-free cycling and walking paths across Northern Ireland will receive a development boost from a new £2.8 million funding package.

The plans were announced by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon on a visit to Lagan Gateway Greenway project in the Stranmillis/Annadale area of Belfast.

The development of this site will include a navigational lock and the construction of a new foot and cycle bridge at a total cost of £1.1m.

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In the Derry City and Strabane Council area, £2.56m is being spent on the Strathfoyle Greenway, and a further £1m on the Strabane North project.

Also benefitting is the Forth Meadows Community Greenway in Belfast – eventually stretching from Glencairn to Bog Meadows – at a cost of £750,000.

Ms Mallon said: “Since becoming minister I have made clear my desire to change the way we travel and I have had the opportunity to see and hear at first-hand how greenways can impact our physical and mental wellbeing, whether that is during a daily commute or to enjoy some leisure time.

“In June I committed £20 million for blue/green infrastructure and to working with all council areas in identifying and delivering active travel and greenway projects.

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“Today I am delighted to commit £2.8 million from that fund towards these six worthy projects.”

Banbridge Riverside Walk will benefit with £180,000 for lighting provision, while the North Down Coastal Path will be widened near Stricklands Glen at a cost of £25,000.

Ms Mallon said that the four councils to benefit from the new funding have indicated that the schemes would be ready for work to begin in the 2020/21 financial year.

“However, it is important to say this is just the beginning. I want to see more greener and cleaner places across our island, where families and communities can thrive,” the minister added.

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“These projects are the start of that change and we need to work together in government, in council and in our communities to deliver more change right across the north.

“Today I have written to each of these councils asking them to urgently submit their business cases so that funding can be secured and construction can begin at the earliest possible opportunity. I look forward to seeing the schemes completed and more people out enjoying their local environment, either by walking, wheeling or cycling.”

The announced funding package will provide 50% of the cost of each project – subject to a submission of a suitable business case.