In December 2016, the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) awarded €4.95 million under the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme to a Partnership led by Waterways Ireland and involving Monaghan County Council, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and East Border Region Ltd to proceed with Phase II of the Ulster Canal Greenway.
This will involve constructing a 22km section of greenway from Middletown in Co. Armagh to Smithborough in Co. Monaghan. A spur track connecting the N2 Dublin road along the bypass in Monaghan town to the Greenway at the Armagh road junction with the bypass is also included in the project, as is some funding for community engagement measures to encourage commuters along the route to switch from their cars and use the greenway.
Consultation on the design will take place during 2017, with designers to be appointed in 2018, planning permission to be applied for in early 2019 and land acquisition to proceed in late 2019. It is hoped to get construction underway in 2020, with the greenway due to open in 2021.
The INTERREG VA programme is being managed by the Special EU Programmes Body www.seupb.com.