Three north west projects are to benefit from a £1.5million funding boost.
The EU money has been awarded under the INTERREG IVA Programme to the three new NW Region Cross Border Group (NWRCBG) projects which will be rolled out across the five local authority areas of Limavady, Derry, Donegal, Magherafelt and Strabane over the next three years.
The Renewable Energies Network (REN-NET) aims to establish a formalized business network for small businesses working in the renewable energy and green economy fields. This 3 year project, led by Donegal County Council, has been awarded €390,047 and seeks to engage small and micro businesses at a cross border level who are employed in this rapidly expanding economic growth area.
A second network project involving the NW Construction Industry has been awarded £297,889. This programme to be delivered through Magherafelt District Council will target up to 80 businesses connected to the construction sector to encourage information sharing, cost reduction, sales and innovation.
The third project to receive funding is the Inch Levels-Lough Foyle Wildlife Project, which has been awarded €839,880 to deliver two world-class visitor and recreation attractions at Inch Levels in Donegal and at Lough Foyle, north of Derry, over the next 2 years.
The project will develop 3.5 km of walkway, install a timber boardwalk and extend the car parking facilities at Inch as well as installing bird hides and a footbridge at Lough Foyle to enable access to this attractive area. In addition to this, the project will aim to establish the entire northwest region as a first class birdlife and environmental destination.
NWRCBG Chairperson, Councillor Maeve McLaughlin, welcomed the investment to the region saying that: “These networks will develop programmes of support for small businesses and will encourage companies to work together for mutual benefit. The investment in tourism infrastructure is also welcome and will greatly enhance the product we are able to offer to tourists in the region”, she said.
The NW Region Cross Border Group was established in 1976 and is a partnership of the 5 Councils in the region ie Derry, Donegal, Limavady, Magherafelt and Strabane.