Arctic sail route meeting for city

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Proponents of a new yachting route stretching from Londonderry to Greenland via Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, will meet in the city later this year to discuss new business opportunities the proposal will bring for a range of industries.

Representatives from Derry City and Strabane District Council attended a meeting of the ‘Cool Route’ project partners in Glasgow last week to get an update on the initiative and to discuss the way forward in terms of maximising the potential of the sailing sector across all regions in Ireland and the UK.

Londonderry is scheduled to host the next meeting of the project group in October.

Mary Blake, Tourism Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “This project is instrumental in bringing to life our marinas and waterways and to putting Derry firmly on the sailing map.

“Derry City and Strabane District Council is very focused on promoting the city and region’s maritime offering and we are keen to look at new ways to utilise our waterfront and rivers to encourage investment and tourism.

“By being part of this initiative we will be involved in dialogue with all service providers, tourism interests and interested stakeholders along the route that will greatly benefit us in being part of this hugely exciting maritime tourism project.”

Partners of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme funded ‘Cool Route’ project held a number of meetings hosted by the Moffatt Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.

Dr Breda Kenny presented an update on the work of lead partners Cork Institute of Technology on general management of the project.

Dr Kenny, Head of the Hincks Centre for Entrepreneurship Excellence at lead partner educational institution CIT, said: “Ongoing stakeholder engagement across the route is key to exploiting the economic potential of the Cool Route project.

“The focus is on bringing new business opportunities to a wide range of industries, ranging from operators of port facilities to local boatyards, cafes and restaurants, outdoor activity, heritage cultural and other visitor attractions throughout the Cool Route”.

CIT has received funding valued at €1.26 million to develop a coordinated cruising route. The Northern Peripheral and Arctic (NPA) Interreg VB Programme funds projects addressing transnational innovation, enterprise development and entrepreneurship across the programme territories covering Southern and Western Ireland, Northern Ireland, Western and Northern Scotland, The Faroe Islands, Western Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

“Cruising Oceans on Latitudes above 51 º North” - The “COOL Route”, was approved by the NPA Interreg Programme and will research all of the logistical, business, and marketing planning for the route which will support other complimentary maritime, and shore based tourism initiatives in all of the intervening regions.”