The facility, when complete, will allow Lough Neagh Rescue to provide a more enhanced service to the community and will allow for training to take place in a modern training environment.
The works cost £640,000 and a grant of £480,000 was secured under the NI Rural Development Programme’s Co-Operation Scheme. The project is delivered in co-operation with three Local Action Groups, namely SOAR (ABC) in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area, MURDP (Mid Ulster Rural Development Programme) and GROW (South Antrim).
Minister Poots said: “It has been really interesting hearing all the good work LNR do saving lives all year round on the Lough and I was very impressed by the team’s life-saving stories.
“I am delighted that my department in partnership with SOAR have been able to help fund the new works at Kinnego Lough Neagh rescue centre and I was able to see the work taking place at the Marina under the Co-Operation Scheme. This is a state of the art rescue facility and will make the Lough a much safer place in which to enjoy the activities on the open water and the wildlife around it once the building works are complete.”
The Chairperson of SOAR, Roisin McAliskey commented: “This co-operation project will enable Lough Neagh Rescue to have a building that is fit for purpose to allow them to carry out their search and rescue operations that are an integral part of our community and indeed the entire community around the Lough Neagh area. The Kinnego Marina element is also very welcome in that high spec glamping pods and an upgrade of the road and utility block will increase visitor numbers to Lough Neagh.”
The project also incorporates four new high spec glamping pods at the marina, along with new fencing, road resurfacing and a utility block refit inside and out. It will also include work to the “Gary Breen” boat as a rescue command vessel to bring it up to “boat code” standards.