A €60 million cross-border project could revitalise Lifford and Strabane – and lead to hundreds of new jobs.

The Three Rivers Project has today been given the green light by the SDLP Minister for the Environment, Mark H Durkan.

The EU  backed project will lead to the creation of a “shared space” of tree-lined boulevards, cycle paths, walk-ways and an area which has the potential to become a cultural focal point for communities on both sides of the border. There will also be scope for hotels, restaurants and new businesses.

It will also incorporate river promenades, an eco park, a network of pedestrian cycle links, boat-launching areas, connecting bridges and shared spaces over the river as well as a native wetland area.

Welcoming theannouncement, West Tyrone SDLP MLA Joe Byrne said; "Today's news signals the beginning of a very significant development for the people of Strabane and the wider District Area in terms of both Job creation and investment opportunities.”

He added: “This project has the potential to provide job opportunities and generate more local spending power which can enhance Strabane as a regional town in terms of both retail and tourist related opportunities."

While planning issues had delayed the project, these have now been overcome.

However, some town centre traders in Strabane has expressed opposition to the project and fear that it will have a detrimental effect on the town centre, but advocats of the project say it will benefit the whole town and region.

Local authorities in Donegal and Strabane are backing the project which has the potential to create up to 1,700 jobs, according to the SDLP.

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) is also backing the project.

More to follow...

L1

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.