Armagh Council has agreed to contribute funding – or risk losing – the chance of a new walking and cycling route being created through Benburb Valley Park.
It is one of a number of benefactors chipping in £4,000 towards the £12,000 costs involved in the mapping and design of the route through the picturesque park, which straddles the border of Counties Armagh and Tyrone.
It is expected that additional funding will be sought through the Rural Development Programme and that construction would take place in March of next year.
The council agreed to back the request from Outdoor Recreation NI (ORNI).
Over the last 10 years, Armagh City and District Council (ACDC) and Fermanagh and South Tyrone Borough Council – through Blackwater Catchment – have been in partnership with the development of the ‘eco-trail’ on the site.
In order for an application to be developed for the NIEC challenge fund, the council was asked to contribute £4,000 towards the overall development proposal.
Councillors were told that, if they did not commit to funding, it would jeopardise the project and Armagh would then have no formal involvement in “an exciting new trail”.
There was the risk of losing external funding for the local area, but contributing gave the opportunity to be involved in an exciting new project with limited cost, neither revenue nor capital.
Councillors – who backed the contribution – were told it would add infrastructure to a rural area and enhance the district’s walking and cycling stock.