A 5.5km, recreational trail from Ballyconnell to Bellaheady along the Woodford River is to be developed in a project that will see an investment of €750,000 in cycling and walking facilities along the route.
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) was signed between Cavan County Council and Waterways Ireland for the development of the trail, which will form part of the larger Greenway that extends along the former Cavan-Leitrim Railway.
Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, was present at Ballyconnell National School last Friday, together with Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Cllr Paddy McDonald (SF); Director of Services, Eoin Doyle and Joe Gillespie, Waterways Ireland, northern regional manager, for the signing of the agreement.
A delighted Minister Humphreys said that the signing of the agreement marked the start of the tourism project that will develop a “world class recreational trail that will allow County Cavan tap into the growing tourism market for walking, cycling and outdoor activities”.
She anticipated that, once complete, the project will deliver huge benefits to the communities along the trail and the county as a whole.
The project is being funded 80% by the Department of Community and Rural Development under its Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme; with the balance coming from Waterways Ireland and Cavan County Council.
Minister Humphreys revealed that the project on the Bridge at Derrykerrib is nearly completed and then it will be onto the Castlesanderson project, which will extend the navigation of the river Finn, which is part of the Ulster Canal project.
Mr Gilespie, Waterways Ireland, said the project marries well with its vision of bringing more users to the waterways.
S. Wilkin & Sons Ltd from Rockcorry is already progressing works well and the director of that company, Sammy Wilkin, told The Anglo-Celt that they are putting non-slip pathways and cycle ways in place. Pedestrian crossings are also being installed.
Speaking at the SLA signing, Cllr McDonald said the trail would provide a great addition to the county’s tourism offering. “The partnership between Waterways Ireland and Cavan Council is key to the delivery of this project and shows how State agencies can work together to deliver these key projects,” he remarked.