A new 600m landscaped walkway in Maghera has been officially opened following completion a £250K investment programme supported through the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme.
Named ‘Largantogher Walkway’, the path connects the Walled Garden which is adjacent to the historic St Lurach’s church with the town’s Tobermore Road for the first time, creating more opportunities for local people and visitors alike to enjoy open green space.
The landscaped pathways benefit from lighting, with seating and panels which detail the history of The Walled Garden, St Lurach’s Church and the local area to be added, in a project which has been 75% funded via the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership (Local Action Group), with the remaining 25% coming from Mid Ulster District Council.
Local people and schoolchildren joined the Chair of the Council, Councillor Martin Kearney, and Cllr Sean Clarke, Chair of Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to declare the walkway officially open.
Speaking at the launch Councillor Kearney said: “Anyone who had the chance to walk the path while it was under construction was amazed at the beauty of the landscape along the winding route and the peaceful atmosphere – all in the middle of a busy town.
“Now that the walkway is complete, local people and visitors alike can experience the nature and the wildlife, along with the boost to their health and well-being.
“This is, of course, a significant investment in Maghera and, in fact, is part of an overall investment programme valued at £5M and encompassing health, leisure and economic projects”.
The new walkway is one of 37 village renewal projects being funded under the Rural Development Programme, and Chair of Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership, Councillor Sean Clarke, said:
“Over the course of this current Rural Development Programme, we will see an investment of over £2.15m in funding directed towards over 30 rural towns and villages from across the length and breadth of the district to make them better places to live and work in. This is what village renewal is about – local people making decisions on the actions they believe will be of greatest benefit to the community.
Councillor Clarke continued “The new walk here in Maghera is a fine example of village renewal in action and Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership is proud to be associated with this project. It is one example of how the Rural Development Programme is working to leave a lasting legacy within our rural areas and this facility will no doubt serve the local community well for many years to come”.
This project is part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union.