Derry, Donegal and Strabane look set to form a key destination on a new European yacht tourism initiative stretching from Norway to Cork.
Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee have now agreed to contribute 71,589 euro towards the development of the ‘Cool Route’ project, which has just got under way.
This consists of a cash contribution of £30,000 over the next three years with the rest of the contribution being in-kind management time.
The total value of the project for Derry and Strabane has been put at 204,541.64 euro, with 65% of this being contributed from the EU’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Area (NPA) Programme.
It emerged at the monthly meeting of the Business and Culture Committee on Thursday at Strabane Council Offices that the Cool route Project will run between the northernmost (Norway) and southernmost (Cork) points on the NPA Zone’s Western Seaboard.
Donegal County Council have also signed up to the project.
The lead partner in the tourism drive will be Cork Institute of Technology and other partners include Glasgow Caledonian University, the Port Authority of Torhavn- Faroe Islands and West Norway research Institute.
A report brought before the committee members stated: “This project will allow us to build on other initiatives designed to develop the Foyle as a maritime destination such as Sail West, Cruise North West, the Clipper Race Sponsorship & Legenderry Maritime Festivals.”
It adds that a project officer from Derry & Strabane Council will attend the first project meeting in Cork over the coming days.
The project was welcomed at the meeting by Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue.
Sinn Fein Councillor Ruairí McHugh proposed the council join the project, and this was seconded by DUP Councillor David Ramsey.
The new initiative comes on the back of another major tourism drive linking Cork and the north west- the Wild Atlantic Way.