Derry MLAs welcome new Strathfoyle greenway funding
Derry MLAs have welcomed confirmation of another £440,000 towards realising the Strathfoyle Greenway project over the coming months.
SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said the investment of £440,000 confirmed by the Department for Communities today will assist in the progress of this long-awaited project.
The Foyle MLA commented:“I am pleased the Department for Communities have now confirmed their contribution of £440k towards the Strathfoyle Greenway.
“My SDLP colleague and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has previously announced funding for this long-awaited transformative and exciting project which I have been working on for years alongside the Strathfoyle community to progress, despite the many challenges along the way. It is great that other departments are contributing too and recognising the social benefits that improved infrastructure and connectivity will bring.
“Strathfoyle Greenway will be completely transformational for Derry and its surrounding areas. And while the journey is not yet over, the finish line is in sight and this cash boost will be a great help in the progression of this vital local amenity.
“Developing active travel routes such as this one prioritises pedestrians and cyclists, encourages the uptake in active travel and will bring a multitude of benefits for the environment and people’s overall health. In keeping a continued focus on green infrastructure, we can create greener, more sustainable societies while tackling the climate emergency head on.
“There is a bit of work yet to be done but this investment from the Department for Communities will see this vital project one step closer to fruition.”
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Ciara Ferguson meanwhile said: “I welcome the announcement of £440,000 funding for the Strathfoyle Greenway project announced today by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.
“This is a major boost for people living in Strathfoyle and will make it easier to walk or cycle to and from Derry city centre.
“I look forward to seeing work on this greenway completed and opened for use next summer.”
In a video compiled as part of the residents’ campaign for the greenway back in June 2020, Paul Hughes from Enagh Youth Forum said: “The Strathfoyle Greenway is a 2.7km extension of the Waterside Greenway from Foyle Bridge to Stradowen Drive. It is on the Council’s capital list of projects and is listed on the Strategic Growth Plan.
“Local people in the community have been campaigning for this project since 2012, when it first secured planning permission and the steering group meet regularly to progress it. Over recent years DCSDC has worked hard to secure and purchase all of the lands required for this project.
“What the project now urgently needs is funding to make it happen and the local community, and people right across the city and North West, are asking the Departments of Infrastructure (DfI), Communities (DfC) and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to now work together in the spirit of ‘New Decade, New Approach’ to fund the Strathfoyle Greenway.”
Alex Duffy, chair of Strathfoyle Community Association, said the project was vital. “My own view is that mental health is going to take a downward spiral because of the lockdown, anxiety, depression so now more than ever it is important.”