Lord Mayor presents ‘Visual Minutes’ to Lough Neagh communities following Future Search Consultation.
The Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Councillor Garath Keating welcomed Development Trusts NI (DTNI) today, 25 October 2016, to a reception to handover a series of large ‘Visual Minutes’ at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre. The Visual Minutes were created by a series of artists during a ‘Future Search’ conference on Lough Neagh, held earlier this year in Toome. The reception completes a detailed consultation exercise with over 300 participants undertaken on behalf of the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), to test the feasibility of a community ownership model for Lough Neagh (privately owned by the Shaftsbury Estate). Representatives from voluntary sector, community groups, business, local Councils, and statutory agencies participated in the consultation, which represented the entirety of the Loughs stakeholders.
The Lord Mayor, presented the three large Visual Minutes to representatives of Tidal Toome, Ballyronan Community, and accepted one of the pieces on behalf of Lough Neagh Discovery Centre. A series of smaller pieces were also presented to a number of participants in the Future Search programme.
Commenting on the handover reception by the Lord Mayor, Chair of Development Trusts NI, Nigel Kinnaird, said;
“We are delighted that the Lord Mayor, Garath Keating, has kindly hosted this reception. Lough Neagh is important to us all, it has a huge community of users, and many see it as an under developed asset. This detailed exercise, commissioned by DARD, now DAERA, looks critically for the first time at community acquisition on a scale not previously envisaged and its findings and recommendations reflect an intensive piece of work by all involved. A new Board is now looking at the viability and commitment to establish a development trust to acquire, own and manage the bed of Lough Neagh.”