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This project secured funding of more than €7 million under the Sustainable Transport theme of INTERREG VA for the creation of a cross-border greenway - connecting the Counties of Monaghan in Ireland and Armagh in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Canal Greenway project (Phase 2) secured funding of more than €7 million under the Sustainable Transport theme of INTERREG VA for the creation of a cross-border greenway - connecting the Counties of Monaghan in Ireland and Armagh in Northern Ireland.
The aim of the project was to open up a new, sustainable travel route for both cyclists and pedestrians and to deliver this, a partnership was established between Waterways Ireland, Monaghan County Council, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council and East Border Region Ltd.
Monaghan Council already maintained a 4.2-kilometre greenway alongside the Ulster Canal on the outskirts of Monaghan town. The new INTERREG VA funding will extend this greenway by 9.8 kilometres, following the route of the disused Ulster Canal between Monaghan town and Middletown in County Armagh. It is due to open in 2023.
The long-term vision is a greenway network almost 190 kilometres in length, that will connect many of the main towns, villages and tourist attractions across the Mid-Ulster region - and help promote, protect and retain the local cultural heritage along the canal.
The greenway network will attract visitors and drive sustainable economic growth in what is an underdeveloped tourist region. Behavioural change among commuters will be encouraged too, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions from private cars by 3.17 tonnes each year. There will also be health benefits to those making the move from driving to walking and cycling.
The Ulster Canal Greenway project and partnership shows how local authorities and government agencies can collaborate to identify and secure funding for the development of a cross-border, sustainable commuter corridor which can also serve as a tourism product and amenity.