Lisburn City Council would agree that creating sustainable communities is an important cross- cutting theme. Targeting poverty, disadvantage and multiple deprivation in urban and rural areas through a range of strategies is non-contentious.
In addition to the priority areas (and indicative actions that flow from them) that are outlined in the document Lisburn City Council would ask that the following important local economic development themes are included in the Structural Funds Programme for the period 2007-2013.
Tourism Development – to include support for tourism and hospitality businesses, product development, tourism marketing, accommodation development, festivals and events; and tourism training and skills enhancement.
Rural Development – to include support for rural business development with appropriate infrastructure enhancement, diversification projects, environmental business opportunities; and training and re-skilling/ up-skilling of rural dwellers and in particular farm families.
Lagan Corridor Regeneration – the opportunities afforded to Lisburn, the wider Belfast Metropolitan Area and Northern Ireland in general, from the re-opening of the Lagan Navigation are clear, in terms of water-based tourism and related hospitality and infrastructure development. Plans are at various stages of development regarding regeneration of the riverside environment, renewal of the lock system and the re-opening of the waterway in the relevant Council areas (Lisburn, Belfast, Castlereagh, Craigavon). The ultimate goal is to connect this waterway via the Maze Site through to Lough Neagh and from there through the Ulster Canal to the Erne Shannon waterway and on to the inland waterway network across the Republic of Ireland. Thus, a new tourism product of national significance, North and South, would be achieved. This initiative should be a funding priority within the new round of Structural Funds.