Port Harbour master, Bill McCann says this is "positive step forward towards harnessing the potential of the River Foyle for tourism and commerce. The new cruise ship quay at Meadowbank, together with the new pontoon, add significantly to the marine facilities that we offer on the Foyle, which is particularly important with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race calling at Derry in 2012."
Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners sign contract for development of Foyle cruise ship quay and pontoon
Chief executive of the Loughs Agency, Derick Anderson has expressed his enthusiasm for a project "that promises to aid the development of tourism along the Foyle and in the north-west generally, including Inishowen. The new water front infrastructure may reveal fresh opportunities for those planning events in the region, for instance, City of Culture in 2013. The Loughs Agency is optimistic that the project will optimise potential for water based events and activity and help bring the river to life in Londonderry's city centre."
Shaun Henry from the Special EU Programmes Body highlighted the strategic importance of this initiative for the region saying: "This project will allow the local tourism sector to draw on the natural environment of the region and its natural tourism resources. This is likely to attract a higher number of domestic and overseas visitors, contributing to improving the performance of the overall tourism industry, one of the key priorities of the INTERREG IVA Programme. By increasing the offer for high quality marine facilities in the area, it also builds on the strong cultural and economic linkages that exist between western Scotland, Northern Ireland and the west coast of Ireland, where marine tourism is a sector in expansion."
The project is supported by funds from the European Regional Development Fund. The Loughs Agency is lead partner in an Interreg IV programme that secured this funding for some much needed infrastructure. Details about marine leisure on the Foyle on www.loughs-agency.org or www.londonderryport.com