Nearly £2.5m worth of European investment has been secured for the delivery of two major projects in the Newry and Mourne and Louth county council areas. The projects which form part of the two councils’ Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement – which celebrated its first anniversary last month – seek to improve the local and environmental and tourism product. The breakdown of the Interreg funding relates to £1.4m for the delivery of a Mournes – Cooley – Ring of Gulllion Geotourism project and 968,000 Euros to deliver the East Border Region Low Carbon Business Network (LCBN). The Geotourism project which was developed in association with the East Border Region Committee will identify the region – which encompasses South Down, north Louth and South Armagh as a single destination. The Geotourism area will stretch from the Boyne Valley through the Cooley Mountains and ring of Gullion across Carlingford Lough and into the Kingdom of Mourne. The funding which will be drawn down in two strands will develop the Geotourism brand and lead to the development to a programme of capital projects throughout the region. For its part the LCBN project which was led by Louth County Council aims to develop the East Border Region as a leader in the development of low carbon technologies and become a lead driver of regional sustainable economic development. A third project will be delivered as a result of the outworkings of the MOU will see Newry and Mourne become the first Northern Ireland local authority to sign up to the World Health Organisation Age Friendly Cities Dublin Declaration. Louth County Council was the first local authority in the South to sigh up to the Declaration with Newry following suit by having signed the charter on March 30. The signing is hoped to set in motion a train programme of activity to include the establishment of an Age Friendly Strategic Alliance and an older people’s forum.
11th April 2012