Clones Regeneration Coordinator Appointed

19 August 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

THE CLONES Regeneration Partnership recently welcomed their new employee, Gerry Darby, to Clones Town. Gerry is the new Project Coordinator for the Partnership and is based in the Monaghan County Council’s Clones office, in the Old Bank Building on The Diamond.

As Project Coordinator, Gerry’s role will be to promote and communicate the major benefits of the forthcoming Ulster Canal project to Clones Town and the outlying Clones area.

Gerry will try to ensure that people in Clones are not only aware of the physical layout of the canal project but more importantly its social, economic and regenerative impact and the potential for new investment to the town.

Waterways Ireland, the North/South implementation body, will be responsible for the restoration of the canal from Clones to Upper Lough Erne and following restoration, for its management maintenance and development.

The full capital cost is estimated at €35m and this will be met by the Irish Exchequer. The construction phase of this project will be a single design and construct contract, which will be progressed on completion of the planning phase.

The canal corridor is estimated to be 13 km long and will link Lough Erne and the rest of the canal systems of Ireland to Clones. There are plans for the provision of a major marina facility in Clones. In the long term it is hoped by many that this will be just Phase 1 of the overall restoration of the Ulster Canal.

Both Ministers from the North and South attending previous North/South Ministerial Council meetings, have stressed the importance of good local liaison and have pointed out that this will be key to the smooth running of the Clones to Upper Lough Erne Canal project.

The Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs have, as such, provided core funding to the Clones Regeneration Partnership, for the coordinator and liaison post. The new Project Coordinator, will liaise closely with Waterways Ireland and all other key stakeholders in trying to help take the project forward as smoothly as possible and maximise the benefits to local people.

Brian Morgan, Chairman of the Clones Regeneration Partnership praised the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs for both their support to the canal project and the funding of the new coordinator post. He also thanked Monaghan County Council for facilitating the coordinator with office facilities. He noted:

“This is an opportunity for real change. The canal project will bring tangible benefits to Clones town and the surrounding area and the coordinator post will ensure all relevant stakeholders are aware of the new opportunities and the potential additional investment and services that will be created.”

Full story in the Northern Standard

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