Hazzard Welcomes Greenways Funding

The Department for Infrastructure and the Public Health Agency have announced funding of £200,000 to develop plans for eight new Greenway schemes.

The funding which includes thee schemes in County Down has been provided under Stage 3 of the ‘Small Grants Programme for Greenways’ and will award £25,000 for the development of detailed designs for each project proposal across the four council areas of Newry, Mourne and Down, Antrim and Newtownabbey, Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon and Causeway Coast and Glens.

Hazzard welcomes £200,000 additional investment for eight new Greenway designs

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Infrastructure and the Public Health Agency and said: “As the former Infrastructure Minister who launched the Greenways strategy, I am delighted to see funding being used to support Greenway development across the North.

“This investment will mean better opportunities for walking and cycling for children and adults.

“Having launched the strategy on the old Belfast & Co Down railway line in Dundrum I’m delighted to see the route is again included in the list of areas receiving additional funding at this next stage.

“The potential of linking the highly successful Comber Greenway to the kingdom of Mourne is really exciting and I will continue to work with local council to ensure this project advances in the months ahead.”

Sinn Féin South Down MP Chris Hazzard.

The eight successful Greenway proposal projects are as follows:

  • Downpatrick to Newcastle
  • Downpatick to Comber
  • Doagh to Larne
  • Craigavon to Aghagallon
  • Portadown to Caledon (via Armagh)
  • Portadown to Moy
  • Banbridge to Scarva
  • Ballymoney to Ballycastle

Andrew Grieve from the Department for Infrastructure said:  “Exercise – Explore – Enjoy: a Strategic Plan for Greenways, sets out the Department’s ambition for the creation of a 1,000km network across Northern Ireland. This funding will help more Councils to develop Greenway projects that align with that plan and we look forward to seeing their proposals move towards fruition.”

Mary Black, Assistant Director for Health Improvement at the Public Health Agency added: “We are delighted to be working with the Department for Infrastructure to support Greenway development as the Greenways provide opportunities for children and adults to incorporate walking and cycling into their everyday lives, whether for active travel, recreation or health.

“As many adults and children are not taking the recommended amounts of physical activity, enhancing the infrastructure to help everyone get more active is a positive step.  Being physically active can help prevent a number of serious health conditions and can cut your risk of heart disease and some cancers, as well as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and joint pain.  It also helps to boost mood and reduce depression and anxiety.”


The Small Grants for Greenways Programme is a three stage competition which was launched in March 2015.  Under Stage 1 Councils were invited to submit Expressions of Interest.  Under Stage 2, 20 grants were offered to Councils to develop a feasibility study for their proposed Greenway schemes.

In August 2017, under Stage 3, three Councils (Mid and East Antrim, Lisburn and Castlereagh and Ards and North Down) were each awarded a grant of £25,000 to develop a detailed design for their proposal.  These were completed in March 2018.

In June 2018, the Public Health Agency secured a further £200,000 for the development of detailed designs for a further eight Greenway schemes in association with the Department for Infrastructure.

The eight successful schemes per council area are:  Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC)- Downpatrick to Newcastle and Downpatrick to Comber; Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council- Doagh to Larne; Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council- Craigavon to Aghagallon, Portadown to Caledon,  Portadown to Moy and Banbridge to Scarva; Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council- Ballymoney to Ballycastle.

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) recommends that adults should be aiming for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days (at least five days) each week. For health benefits activities should last 10 minutes or more. Any physical activity however is better than none.

Children should have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.

The PHA’s website at:


has tips on how to get active and help reach these daily goals.