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£2.4m Greenway overspend to be covered by council

Elected members approve underwriting of £2.4m Greenway overspend – without scrutiny in chambers

Overspend on a new £2.4m Newry Canal greenway extension is to be underwritten by the council following an unscrutinised approval this week.

The ‘Carlingford Lough Greenway’ opened in 2018 along the scenic edge of the Newry Ship Canal and Clanrye River. The pathway is used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) recently signed off on a 1km extension of the public path continuing from Victoria Lock to Carlingford in Co Louth.

The council’s enterprise, regeneration and tourism committee approved recommendations on Monday night (November 13), “to underwrite any spend over the approved funding envelope, subject to business case and funding approval through relevant committee”.

Elected members signed off on the recommendation with no questions raised in chambers on the potential financial impact for ratepayers, despite the recent flooding of Newry from the breaching of the canal banks.

The overall costings on the North side of the border will be jointly funded from the Department for Infrastructure and the Special EU Programmes Body.

NMDDC has an existing allocation of £40k under its capital estimates.

A procurement process has been engaged for the remaining section of the greenway with works planned to be completed by mid-2024.

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