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Some EU funds obtainable for Belfast/Londonderry rail link improvements

19 March 2007

In his campaign for improvements to the Belfast/Londonderry rail link, which is part of the EUís Trans-European Rail Network, Jim Allister MEP has received a response from EU Transport Commissioner, Jacques Barrot.  The Commissioner has confirmed that a modest contribution would be available from the EU, but that the initiative and bulk of the funding must come from DRD.

Commenting Jim Allister said:-

ďAs Commissioner Barrot has confirmed there is 100 Million Euro available annually from a particular budget line, as part of the TEN-T network budget, to co-finance projects in the Member States. Grants from this fund vary between 1.5M Ä and 5 M Ä per project, so, something of this order could be available to DRD. However, the local Department must request the assistance on the back of a worked up programme of infrastructural improvements, with DRD funding the balance.  Loans from the European Investment Bank could also be accessed.

I fear it is DRDís unwillingness to make a fulsome commitment which stands in the way of real, rather than cosmetic, improvements to the line to Londonderry. I have written further to the Minister pressing him on this issue.Ē


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