Northern Ireland Office Minister Andrew Robathon MP at the invitation of fellow MP Margaret Ritchie met with members of the Chamber of Commerce of Warrenpoint, Burren and Rostrevor and members of Kilkeel Chamber of Commerce last week to discuss the issue of Narrow Water Bridge. The Chamber members present outlined to Mr Robathom the vital contribution that construction of the bridge would mean to commerce from Warrenpoint through Kilkeel to Newcastle. It was impressed upon Mr Robathon the great disquiet at the inequitable distribution of Capital Investment on tourism in south Down while considerable sums of money were being committed to projects in Belfast. In the recent past Minister for Culture Arts and Sports had allocated at least £90m to two projects in west and south Belfast while Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy was proposing to spend between £5m and £11.8m on a pedestrian cycle bridge over the River Lagan. In response Mr Robathon insisted that the budget allocated to the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly was pro rata larger than to any other region and that he had little influence on how it was spent. The Minister did agree to use his power of persuasion on the relevant ministers in the Stormont Executive and with Mr Eamon Gilmore at the North South Ministerial Conference to further the cause of Narrow Water Bridge.
5th February 2014