Celebration event for completion of Clones Erne East Blackwater Rural Regeneration (CEEB) Project.

Celebration event for completion of Clones Erne East Blackwater Rural Regeneration (CEEB) Project.

Ann Phelan TD Minister of State in the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Transport, Tourism and Sport with Special Responsibility for Rural Economic Development and Rural Transport attended the closing event for the Clones Erne East Blackwater Rural Regeneration (CEEB) Project in the Ulster Canal Stores, Clones on Wednesday 1st October.

This project was part-financed by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Cross-border Programme and was managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Funding was also provided by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland and Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in Ireland.

Minister Phelan praised the hard work of the project partners and the local communities involved in bringing this extensive rural regeneration project to fruition on time and within budget. “Their enthusiasm and dedication has energised the local communities, provided them with upgraded amenities and demonstrated, yet again, what can be done when communities pool their resources and work together”.

The CEEB project was principally a pre-development project with the aim of ensuring that communities on or close to the Ulster Canal would be in a position to benefit from its restoration. Another key focus of the project was the enhancement of the natural resource tourism product and the heritage of the area which combines unspoilt countryside with welcoming village communities.

As a result of the €1.68M investment, circular walking routes and an eco-trail have been developed in the beautiful Sliabh Beagh area and angling infrastructure has been provided at several game and coarse waters in Fermanagh East and in the Clones catchment.

Clones town itself has also greatly benefited with the development of a wonderful playpark which has already proved to be a great success and the provision of interpretative panels at important heritage sites within the town. Another key development in Clones has been the upgrading of the wonderful Canal Stores to improve the kitchen facilities so as to encourage the establishment of a bistro style café.

It is early days yet but the expectation is that all these works will significantly increase the tourist potential of the area by creating a wide-range of new facilities and amenities. These will provide additional employment opportunities and help support the local economy.

Commenting on the project, Lorraine McCourt, Director with the SEUPB, said:

“The Clones Erne East Blackwater project is helping to regenerate rural towns and villages along the Ulster Canal Corridor between Clones and Lough Erne. A significant number of people living within these communities have directly benefited from new amenity parks, playgrounds, restored landmark buildings and town monuments. Local tourism has also been enhanced with new cycling routes, eco-trails, angling sites and reinstated forest tracks.

“This type of self-sustainable development fits in with the core objectives of the INTERREG Programme as it aims to create a more prosperous cross-border region,” she continued.

For further information in relation to the above please contact

Monaghan County Council

Dympna Condra, Tel (047) 73718 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fermanagh District Council

Colleen Magee, Tel 028 66325050, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.