This project has great potential and the Ulster Canal can enhance considerably the tourism product in the border region. To create worthwhile employment opportunities we need to maximise the potential of local natural resources. Locally we have seen over a long period the benefits of the restored Erne/Shannon Waterway and a restored Ulster Canal can be equally beneficial.
Below is a reply by the Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht Minister to further Parliamentary Questions I tabled regarding the need to progress the restoration of the Ulster Canal.
For Oral Answer on : 09/05/2018
Question Number(s): 42 Question Reference(s): 19999/18
Department: Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
To ask the Minister for Culture; Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding provided in her Department’s estimates for 2018 for restoration work on the Ulster Canal; the works which will be undertaken with such funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– BRENDAN SMITH TD
Waterways Ireland is currently working on the first phase of reopening navigation from the Erne to Castle Saunderson on the Ulster Canal.
The works to complete the development are in the final phase of delivery and completion is expected in late July 2018.
To date over €2.8m has been spent on the entire Ulster Canal project. Expenditure of €1.133m is forecast to complete navigation to Castle Saunderson in 2018.
In parallel, the next phase of works on the restoration is under active consideration.
This project is important for the border region with potential to stimulate economic activity, giving a much needed boost to job creation and with the growth in water based tourism attracting help attract significant numbers of visitors to the area. This is increasingly significant in the context of Brexit.
I remain committed to the project and I am keen to build on current progress and advance further restoration of the Ulster Canal to Clones and to progress the commitments in the Fresh Start Agreement in relation to the further development of the Ulster Canal.