Northern Ireland's Lough Neagh Strategic Fund now open for applications

15/12/2003

From: Ben [Ben@Loughneaghpartnership.com]
Sent: 11 December 2003 16:26
To: ramsar@ramsar.org
Subject: Lough Neagh Strategic Fund

Dear Madam or Sir:

The Lough Neagh Strategic Fund is now open for applications. For further information see our website: www.loughneaghpartnership.com.

Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh is the largest inland water area in the British Isles, covering an area of approximately 383 square kilometres. It is located in the centre of Northern Ireland and is bordered by five of the six counties. It has a very significant influence on waterways throughout Northern Ireland and parts of the border counties. The shoreline of the lough extends to approximately 125 kilometres and includes seven local Council areas, Antrim, Ballymena, Cookstown, Craigavon, Dungannon, Lisburn and Magherafelt.

The rivers flowing into Lough Neagh drain over 40% of Northern Ireland, as well as part of County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. Lough Neagh is freshwater, there being no incursion of seawater into the Lough.

The wider Lough Neagh Area includes seven Areas of Special Scientific Interest (A.S.S.I.s), three Special Protection Areas (S.P.A.s), six National Nature Reserves as well as the Lough Neagh Ramsar site, deeming it an internationally renowned wetland. The whole of Lough Neagh is designated a Natura 2000 site.

The Lough Neagh Strategic Fund

The Lough Neagh Strategic Fund is a new £3.2 million initiative funded under the E.U. Programme for Building Sustainable Prosperity to support work and lever additional resources to help achieve implementation of parts of the Lough Neagh Management Strategy. Many parts of the Strategy are the responsibility of statutory sector bodies, however much also needs to be done by the community, individuals, local authorities and private businesses.

The Lough Neagh Strategic Fund will seek to fund and support these bodies to help develop the Lough in an economic, environmental and socially sustainable way. The Lough Neagh Strategic Fund will operate from 2003 – 2008.

Target Areas for Projects

The Strategic Fund aims to support the development of sustainable tourism and recreation, as well as concentrating on biodiversity, water quality, and associated issues such as environmental protection and improvement. The Fund will also concentrate on developing a Lough Neagh brand, and promoting and marketing the Lough.

In the first instance may I refer you to our website. For further information, please contact our office to arrange an appointment.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Wolf
Fund Development Officer
Lough Neagh Partnership
Tel: 028 7941 7941
Fax: 028 7941 7979
Web: www.loughneaghpartnership.com

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