MLA welcomes Lagan Canal Trust to Stormont

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Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale recently hosted an informative event at Parliament Buildings on behalf of the Lagan Canal Trust.

The event was designed to look at ways in which politicians can reinvigorate and capture the vision for the future of the Lagan’s proposed development.

“I was delighted when Mr Jeffrey Donaldson MP, patron of the trust, asked me to sponsor this event,” explained Mrs Hale.

“The vision and commitment of the Canal Trust to regenerate the Lagan Canal needs not only to be applauded but requires support from every level of government.

“It was interesting to listen to Mr Brian Cassells, Past President of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, who raised the question if people had turned their back on the Lagan”

The Lagan Canal Trust is a partnership organisation whose principle objective is to re-open the Lagan Navigation from Belfast Harbour to Lough Neagh.

The key partners include local councils, government departments and local communities as well as user groups and businesses.

Ms Brenda Turnbull, the Chief Officer of the Lagan Canal Trust, spoke about the sustainability and vision for the Lagan Navigation and explained that the first summer schools of the ‘Waterways College would begin in July 2015 were students will be taught all aspects of canal and navigational skills.

The Lagan Canal travels through three local council areas, including Belfast, Lisburn Castlereagh and the newly formed Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.

Mrs Hale emphasised that colloboration was essential if the Canal Trust was to ‘catch their vision.’

The primary objective of the Trust is to reopen the Lagan Navigation from Belfast Harbour to Lough Neagh. The Trust and its partners are custodians of the 300-year-old waterway - a living and working heritage and we do this with sustainability in mind to ensure that our outstanding national asset is well-kept for future generations to enjoy.

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