Belfast Telegraph

O’Neill opens new angling facilities at Lough Fea


Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill today officially opened new angling amenities at Lough Fea in the Sperrins.

    The new amenities which received £75,000 investment from the NI Rural Development Programme, includes three concrete fishing stands, a floating jetty allowing disabled access to fishing boats, a secure store to house fishing boats and a new concrete slipway.

    Minister O’Neill said: “To date over £7million has been spent on dozens of projects across the north through the ‘Encouragement of Tourism Activities’ measure of the Rural Development Programme which was designed to encourage the use of natural resources to attract visitors and create new employment opportunities through the sustainable development of the rural economy. These new facilities at Lough Fea are the most recent example of how such a project which will attract visitors and create new employment opportunities.”

    The Minster continued: “It is great to see projects led by Cookstown District Council through close engagement with those that use the Lough, such as the Angling Club, and statutory bodies such as NI Water. It is through this working together in partnership that we can make projects happen which provide an economic benefit to our rural communities. This is a key aim of my Rural Development Programme and I am delighted that locally, the impact is evident and available to us all. I hope that local communities and people from across the locality, and indeed further afield take the opportunity to benefit from this recreational and tourism product for years to come.”

    Cookstown District Council received a Letter of Offer of £75,000 from Local Action Group, SWARD.

    Notes to editors:

    1. Lough Fea is situated five miles north of Cookstown. The panoramic scenery of the Sperrins and site facilities such as: circular walkway, kids play area, picnic benches and toilets makes Lough Fea an ideal place to visit and currently attracts approximately 30,000 visits per annum.

    2. Cookstown District Council received a Letter of Offer of £75,000 from SWARD under Measure 3.3: “Encouragement of Tourism Activities”. There were five elements to the project.
  • Forming three concrete fishing stands that terminate at the water’s edge. Two of which formed access from the DRD adopted path at the road via a stile. The remaining stand was constructed with a concrete path with gradients to allow disabled access.
  • A floating jetty and gangway allowing disabled access to fishing boats on the lough.
  • A concrete slipway was installed to replace the existing damaged one that is used by the fishing boats to access the lough.
  • A secure steel store to house fishing boats/equipment.
  • An access system incorporating an electric drop down bollard to allow vehicular access to the lough edge.

    3. Total project cost is £100,000 and Cookstown District Council is providing the remaining £25,000. SWARD cluster (Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt and Fermanagh council areas) is responsible for delivery of Axis 3 ‘Quality of Life’ Measures of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 on behalf of DARD. SWARD has an allocation of £20,522,227.

    4. Axis 3 of the RDP contains the following measures:

    · Diversification into non-agricultural activities – Farm Diversification
    · Business creation and development
    · Encouragement of tourism activities
    · Basic services for the economy and rural population
    · Village renewal and development
    · Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage

    5. Local councils came together in clusters to deliver the Axis 3 ‘quality of life’ measures of the Programme on a sub-regional basis, and seven clusters were formed. Each cluster works with a Local Action Group ensuring bottom-up delivery with local people responsible for local decisions.

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