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Ring of Gullion funding secured

The Ring of Gullion has been awarded funding to encourage local community involvement in the historic cultural and environmental features of the area of outstanding natural beauty. Newry and Mourne District Council received an earmarked first round pass of £980k from the Heritage Lottery Fund through its Landscape Partnership programme for the Ring of Gullion project. The Ring of Gullion has begun to attract visitors from across Ireland and beyond in recent times and the project now aims to increase community participation connected with the area including learning about the landscape and its heritage. Over £71k was awarded to the Newry and Mourne District Council last Friday to help the project progress. A full grant will then be pursued in early 2014. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is also continuing its support of the Ring of Gullion area by committing £129k match funding for phase 2 of the project which will come into fruition between 2014 and 2018. Newry’s new Mayor was at Friday’s launch and welcomed the rewards that the investment promises to bring to the area. “The scheme will provide training opportunities in local heritage skills and local historical and heritage guides as well as many other opportunities for local communities to benefit from,” said Mayor Ruane. “It is great news for the district and I encourge everyone with an interest in heritage to contact Darren Rice.” Darren Rice is the Ringof Gullion Officer and has called on the people of the surrounding area to get involved in shaping how the Ring of Gullion project can serve the community. “It is really important that at this early stage we hear from local communities and hear what people value about the landscape and what they want to conserve,” he said. “This all needs to go into the action plan so we can draw down funds to work on projects. There will be a number of events over the coming weeks to allow community groups and individuals to come together to input in the application.” It is hoped that the Landscape Partnership will create more opportunities for physical, intellectual and sensory access to the Ring of Gullion and highlight its recreational potential, local culture and its internationally important biodiversity and geology. This should help to ensure that high quality, up to date training and skills required to address the above are all available locally.


Newry Reporter

19th June 2013