Things are hotting up in the development of a Lough Neagh Cooperation Project under the Rural Development Programme. Within this programme, Local Action Groups who are responsible for allocating European Leader funding can come together to develop larger more integrated and connected projects which cross boundaries. As such, there are three main local action groups around the shores of the Lough who have been working up proposals to cover the whole of the Lough. These include SOAR, the Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas which covers the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area and the southern shores of the Lough, GROW (Generating Rural Opportunities Within South Antrim) which covers the eastern and northern shore of the Lough and Mid Ulster RDP representing the Mid Ulster area and which covers the western shores of the Lough.
The Lough Neagh Cooperation project is still in the process of being developed but proposed projects include new fishing stands at Portglenone, new jetty and boat facilities at Antrim, and new camping facilities at Washing Bay and Coney Island. It is also proposed that a new marketing programme for the whole of the lough will also be developed. Business plans for all of these proposals have been submitted to DEARA, so watch this space and we will update you on any future progress.