Fund­ing dead­line for two Green­ways

THE BIG ASK: COUN­CIL TO FOR­MALLY AP­PLY FOR FUNDS FOR GREEN­WAYS

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - By SORCHA CROW­LEY

IT is in­cum­bent on Sligo County Coun­cil to do all it can to help two Green­way projects in Sligo get their share of a €53 mil­lion na­tional Green­way Fund.

That’s the view of both Sinn Féin Coun­cil­lor Chris MacManus and Fianna Fáil Coun­cil­lor Tom MacSharry who both tabled mo­tions at this month’s County Coun­cil meet­ing look­ing for an up­date on the projects.

The two po­ten­tial Green­way op­por­tu­ni­ties in Sligo are the Sligo/Leitrim/North­ern Coun­ties rail­way Green­way (SLNCR) and the 35kmWestern Green­way be­tween Col­looney and Bel­laghy.

Mem­bers heard from Act­ing Director of Ser­vices Mar­garet McCon­nell that Sligo County Coun­cil in­tends to take the lead in mak­ing two ap­pli­ca­tions to the 2019-2021 Green­way Fund.

Ap­pli­ca­tions opened on 24 th Au­gust and will close on 30 th Novem­ber.

“Work is on­go­ing in the back­ground with Mayo and Leitrim County Coun­cils. We will have two ap­pli­ca­tions in,” said McCon­nell.

“I wel­come that,” said Cllr MacManus. “If the aban­doned rail lines are not be­ing used it’s in­cum­bent on us that we are go­ing to ap­ply for fund­ing on last­ing projects,” he said.

“I also wel­come the re­port,” said Cllr MacSharry.

“I’m de­lighted. When there is such good­will from Leitrim and Ca­van, it’s in­cum­bent on us to do our part. Brexit is com­ing and tourism busi­nesses are still strug­gling so I wel­come that two ap­pli­ca­tions will be made,” he told the meet­ing.

In­de­pen­dent Coun­cil­lor Marie Casserly said many new jobs will be cre­ated by the Green­ways and stressed the im­por­tance of “get­ting ev­ery busi­ness along the route to co-op­er­ate with the sub­mis­sion.”

“We’re not go­ing to get the In­tels (com­ing here) but we can at­tract tourists,” she said.

In­de­pen­dent Coun­cil­lor De­clan Bree said he sup­ported Cllr Tom MacSharry re­gard­ing the north­ern Green­way from Sligo to Drom­a­hair.

“I feel the Sligo to En­niskillen Green­way is im­por­tant and it could draw down funds,” he told mem­bers.

“The fact that Leitrim had the low­est num­ber of tourists and with Brexit com­ing, will as­sist in get­ting funds,” he said.

The meet­ing heard that the Coun­cil is cur­rently work­ing with Leitrim County Coun­cil on the north­ern Green­way on get­ting ac­cess to lands, se­lect­ing the route, con­sid­er­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and or­gan­is­ing plan­ning.

For the other Green­way in South Sligo, Sligo Green­way Co-op held a break­fast brief­ing in Curry re­cently to give lo­cal busi­ness in South Sligo an op­por­tu­nity to show their sup­port for the Green­way there.

Busi­ness were asked to pledge funds to help meet es­sen­tial costs that will be in­volved in the fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tion process to Gov­ern­ment. The Sligo Green­way is ex­pected to cost €5.3 mil­lion which has an es­ti­mated pay­back time of just two years for the re­gion.

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