Funding of £25,000 has been approved by the Department of Infrastructure to develop a “Greenway” project in Greenisland.
The funding, provided under Stage 3 of the Small Grants Programme for Greenways, will allow Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to develop detailed designs and project proposals ready for construction in the future.
A working group has already been set up to establish a cycle route between Greenisland and Monkstown.
Andrew Grieve, Department for Infrastructure said: “Encouraging greater use of active travel is a Programme for Government aspiration and the development of greenways has an important role to play in achieving this.
“They are a key part of our infrastructure as they provide safe and easy access to fresh air and exercise by encouraging more people to walk or cycle on their everyday journeys on a traffic free route.
“Last year, the Department launched ‘Exercise – Explore – Enjoy: a Strategic Plan for Greenways’ which sets out an ambition for the creation of a 1,000km network across Northern Ireland. This funding will help provide support to the three Councils to develop greenway networks that align with that plan. We look forward to working with them to bring their projects to fruition.
“In addition to the grants announced today, the Department is also developing a Capital Grants Funding programme to assist with the cost of constructing greenway schemes. All councils are therefore encouraged to continue the good work they have been doing in this area as the Programme, when available, will be open to schemes with detailed designs and project bids.”
Anne Donaghy, Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, commented: “Greenways across our borough are in the future plans for Mid and East Antrim.
“I am delighted to hear that Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s feasibility study for the Greenisland Greenway has been successful and will progress to the next stage. Thanks to the £25,000 of funding which will now be coming from the Department, we will ensure that we deliver a robust bid and detailed design in order to apply for 75 per cent funding to see this exciting project through to completion.
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is committed to developing greenways throughout our borough as the people of Mid and East Antrim recognise the many social, economic and environmental benefits that greenways bring to an area.
“The Greenisland Greenway is just one way that this council aims to meet the environmental and access needs of our citizens as captured through our community planning process.
“Greenways offer an opportunity to connect existing walking and cycling routes to encourage less dependency on cars as well as promote good health and well-being.”