Belfast Telegraph

Lough Foyle ferry resumption is boost for tourism

By Brendan McDaid

A ferry service across Lough Foyle will be reintroduced tomorrow after a new subsidy package was agreed.

The Magilligan to Greencastle cross-border ferry service was scrapped in September 2011 after vital funding was withdrawn.

However, Limavady Borough Council has now agreed to set aside €10,000 (£8,300) to match the contribution from Donegal County Council.

The €20,000 (£16,600) total will be used as a deficit fund if there is a loss of profit for operators, Foyle Ferry Company Ltd.

As a result, the ferry service will be reintroduced in time for St Patrick’s Day weekend.

It will run for four days a week initially, from Friday through to Monday, before returning to a full daily service by the end of March.

Its return is expected to provide a major boost for businesses to the tourism and hospitality sectors in the area.

MLA for East Londonderry John Dallat warned, however, that the two governments needed to step in and subsidise the project to secure its future.

Mr Dallat, a frequent user of the ferry service, said: “Government funding would allow those involved in tourism and marketing to integrate the ferry service into promotional material so tourists can know in advance that it exists.”

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