SDLP meets with Foster over Narrow Water Bridge
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has led a delegation of Warrenpoint representatives to meet with Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster to discuss the proposed Narrow Water Bridge project. She was joined by Seán Rogers MLA and representatives of the Warrenpoint, Burren and Rostrevor Chamber of Commerce to discuss the bridge, which would link Warrenpoint with Omeath.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Ritchie spoke to Newry Times, “We had a very constructive and cordial meeting with Minister Foster where we put forward the robust case for the bridge being given the green light. Tourism is the principal economic driver for South Down, with the Mournes and St Patrick’s Country forming the jewels in our local crown. Encouraging easy access for tourists from the Republic to come to our part of the world and spend money in our shops and at our tourist attractions just makes sense, and the Narrow Water Bridge is the project to facilitate it.”
Ritchie continued, “The Special European Union Programmes Body initially rejected the project on the grounds of deliverability, but that decision is being appealed with what I believe is a literally and figuratively watertight plan which would bring the bridge in on time and on budget. I was gratified to hear Arlene Foster tell us that ‘if this project is good for Northern Ireland, I will support it’. I am confident that we can prove to her and to the SEUPB that it is viable, that it is valid and that it is extremely good for the North. I look forward to the result of the appeal.”
Adding to Ritchie’s remarks, Seán Rogers MLA said, “The Narrow Water Bridge would provide such a boost to South Down as a gateway to the Mournes, which is already a renowned destination, that it is hard to see how one could reasonably oppose it. I am grateful to the Minister for meeting with us today and look forward to pursuing the issue with fellow public representatives and local businesspeople.”
President of Warrenpoint, Burren and Rostrevor Chamber of Commerce Jim Boylan said, “We are very pleased that the minister took time to meet with us today to discuss this vitally important project and we look forward to matters progressing soon.”
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