Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Questions (62)

Brendan Smith

Question:

62. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the level of capital funding provided to Waterways Ireland in 2018; the expenditure to the end of 2018; the capital funding provided for 2019; if additional capital projects will be undertaken in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24060/19]

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Written answers (Question to Culture)

My Department provided € 5,180,000 of capital funding to Waterways Ireland in 2018 which includes the €1,600,000 allocated specifically for the Meelick Weir project.

In 2018, Waterways Ireland focused on delivering its core activities and maintaining front line services. The total capital expenditure to the end of 2018 for Waterways Ireland was €7,767,000. Of this amount, €2,587,000 was contributed from Waterways Ireland’s Reserves which are the accumulation of proceeds from disposal of property and receipts from third party funded projects and are used to fund additional works.

The projects undertaken by Waterways Ireland in 2018 comprised a wide diversity of works. For example, €1,605,934 was allocated for maintenance of plant and machinery on the waterways. These are essential to the smooth operation and upkeep of the waterways.

€1,133,846 was spent on part of the Ulster Canal restoration project with work to extend navigation on the Erne System to Castlesaunderson and new bridge completed at Derrykerrib, and work to deliver the 22km Ulster Canal towpath development from Smithborough, Co. Monaghan to Middletown, Co. Armagh.

The continued management and development of Blueways throughout the navigations was also a priority for the Organisation in 2018.

A key goal for Waterways Ireland in 2018 was to increase the use of the inland waterways. The number of registered users at the end of December 2018 was 15,539 with 95% of waters navigable during the boating season (mid-March to October).

In 2019, my Department provided € 4,380,000 of capital funding to Waterways Ireland. Total anticipated capital expenditure as per the Organisation’s Business plan is €8,480,000. The remaining expenditure will be funded from Waterways Ireland Reserve account.

Some of the projects planned for this year include repair to Meelick Weir on the Shannon navigation, development projects such as the completion of a new work depot in Rooskey to facilitate operations along the North Shannon, dredging areas on the Shannon-Erne Waterway and River Erne to maintain a navigable channel, repair/refurbishment of all landing and amenity jetties across the Eastern Region and the manufacture and repair of key lock gates.