Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has welcomed the announcement that work is due to commence on a new lock at Stranmillis Weir as part of the long anticipated ‘Lagan Gateway’ project.
Construction of the first lock to be built in Belfast in over 250 years is part of a larger programme of work to open up the Lagan Navigation, linking in with other reinvigorated waterway systems throughout Ireland and opening up the waterway, which first opened in 1763, to Lisburn and eventually Lough Neagh.
Mr Donaldson, patron of the Lagan Navigation Trust, said the project could have significant benefits for the Lagan Valley area.
“I am delighted that work is getting under way to construct this lock on the Lagan Navigation Canal at Stranmillis. This will provide an iconic new gateway to the canal and enhances the potential for eventually opening up the canal all the way to Lough Neagh,” he said.
“Our waterways are part of the history and industrial heritage of the Lagan Valley and the reopened canal could attract additional visitors and tourists to our area.
“The idea would be that eventually, a boat could travel all the way from Belfast to Lough Neagh and then access the other waterways such as the Ulster Canal and Erne/Shannon. This would help to open up the tourism potential and commercial development of many areas of Northern Ireland,” the DUP man added.