13 November 2015
Community invited to consultation on developing Lough Neagh community ownership.
Development Trusts NI is hosting four Community Consultation evenings to engage local communities on the future ownership of Lough Neagh, starting later this month. Development Trusts NI, who work to empower communities through asset transfer, has been tasked by the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to investigate the feasibility of a community ownership model for the Lough. The group wishes to establish if it might provide a platform for community development to benefit local communities who engage with, use, live or are based around the Lough. As part of this work Development Trusts NI is undertaking a series of Community Consultation events during November and December.
Commenting on the Community Consultations planned for Lough Neagh, Director for Development Trusts NI, Charlie Fisher, said;
“Lough Neagh is important to us all, it has a huge community of users, and many see it as an underdeveloped asset. We have been asked by the Department to investigate the feasibility of a community ownership model for Lough Neagh. As part of this investigation, we are holding a series of local Community Consultation events. We want to encourage those who reside, work, engage with or are passionate about the Lough to come along and be part of it. We want your views, they are important to our work, and indeed, Lough Neagh’s future. It is crucial that communities are part of this important development – local people and the communities around the Lough should use this opportunity to contribute to the debate to bring Lough Neagh forward for the community.”
The four Community Consultation events, which are open to everyone, will be held at;
- Washing Bay Community Centre, Tuesday 24th November 7pm – 9pm
- Clotworthy House Antrim, Thursday 26th November 7pm – 9pm
- Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Tuesday 1st December 7pm – 9pm
- Ballyronan Marina Centre, Wednesday 2nd December 7pm – 9pm
“The Community Ownership model approach being considered for Lough Neagh has been used successfully elsewhere. In Scotland for example a number of large privately owned estates have been successfully transferred into community ownership to be managed by local people for the benefit of local people. Economic, social and environmental benefits for local communities have followed. All of this adds to the importance of the communities around Lough Neagh joining in the consultations planned for November and December. We want everyone to contribute.” Charlie added.