Belfast Telegraph

O’Neill boats it to Trannish Island

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has visited Trannish Island on Upper Lough Erne.

Highlighting potential for recreation in the area, the Minister visited an old derelict cottage (Bothy) on the island which has been restored to provide accommodation for canoeists using the Lough Erne Canoe Trail. The restoration project by Outdoor Recreation NI in partnership with the Share Centre received Rural Development Programme (RDP) funding of £95,639 through the South West Action for Rural Development (SWARD).

Speaking after her visit, the Minster said: “Through the RDP I am keen that we continue to maximise the potential for recreation in our rural countryside, and projects such as this in rural Fermanagh are evidence of the continued growth of our tourism sector providing economic stability and assisting in sustaining our rural communities.

“Outdoor Recreation and their partners, the Share Centre, are to be applauded for identifying the need and developing the Trannish Island Bothy. This is an excellent facility which has certainly enhanced the Lough Erne Canoe Trail as a tourist activity destination.”

The Bothy provides basic shelter, accommodation, shower, toilet and camping facilities. It is very popular with canoeists, boat users, youth groups and families, and can accommodate approximately 12 people sleeping inside.

Notes to editors:

1. The project is a partnership between Outdoor Recreation (NI) (originally established as Countryside Access & Activities Network CAAN in 1999) and the Share Centre. Outdoor Recreation NI is responsible for the strategic development of outdoor recreation across Northern Ireland, and the Share Centre is a registered charity that offers activity tourism opportunities for both the local population and visiting tourists. Outdoor Recreation (NI) was established as Countryside Access & Activities Network CAAN in 1999.

2. Outdoor Recreation NI received RDP funding of £95,000 through a LoO from SWARD through Measure 3.3 “Encouragement of tourism activities” to restore an old derelict cottage (Bothy), on Trannish Island, Upper Lough Erne, near Lisnaskea, to provide accommodation for canoeists using the Lough Erne Canoe Trail. Trannish Island is situated on Upper Lough Erne and the closest designated access point is from the Share Centre, near Lisnaskea The Share Centre, within their Partnership agreement with ORNI, manage the bothy.

3. Total project cost is £127,000 and ORNI provided the remainder. The Council anticipate that the proposed project has the potential to attract approximately 12,000 outdoor recreational visitors per annum.

4. 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.

5. 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

6. 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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