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New ‘Riverine officer’ position created at council

An artist’s impression of how the Riverine development might look.

A NEW ‘Riverine officer’ position has been created at Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Tasked with leading an environmental programme within the cross-border project, it is understood the new officer will take up their duties in the coming weeks.

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The job, the first specific position to be established by council vis-à-vis the Riverine Project, will see the officer liaise with local people and ultimately create a steering group so that communities in Strabane and Lifford can help shape any forthcoming environmental programmes.

The position has been created through the Peace IV programme and is funded to the tune  of £115,000.

Earlier this year, council was awarded 6.2million in Peace IV funding.

“I should make it clear, there are two parts to the Riverine programme,” programme manager for Peace IV at council, Sue Divin told a meeting recently.

“There is the capital bid and that is to develop the cross border site… that capital side is different bid.”

According to Ms Divin the result of the multi-million pound capital bid for Riverine will be known later this month.

It is now seven years since the Riverine Project was first mooted. At the time, six million euro had been set aside for the creation of “an iconic shared space that is non-contentious and non-sectarian through the border riverside area.”
 
Among proposals was the development of cycle paths, a new pedestrian bridge, a green area, public art and interactive play areas.

“The bit that I’m talking about is the programme of activity that’s going to use that site and maybe some other areas,” she continued. “The new site won’t be built when we’ve secured the funding for this. 

“What we’ve secured money for at the minute, is that there is now a new post in council… they’re going to be the environmental officer and they’re paid for under this programme. Their job will be to deliver a cross community environmental based programme that will link people into the site and start to bring people together from Strabane town and the wider area and the cross border area to begin to use that site as a shared space.”

Initially a bid had been submitted for two posts but the funder said they were only funding one post. Council is now re-bidding for those same funds but instead of a second post, these funds will be used to fund new programmes.

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