All posts by Laura Kroon

NIWE meeting Belfast

Niwe Belfast

On Thursday the 27st of April, a meeting has taken place of the NIWE (Network Inland Waterways Europe). The meeting was hosted by Lagan Canal  Trust, one of the partners in the NIWE. On the Lagan Valley Island Centre in Lisburn city came 11 representatives from 8 different countries gathered for an interesting agenda.

The agenda was focused on the INTERREG proposals and a working session was held of INTERREG Europe proposal. To support the future of the secondary waterways in Europe the projects support interregional cooperation throughout Europe and helps NIWE in the achievement of the goals through financing. NIWE is discussing the future after Brexit, communication goals and the expanding knowledge center. All partner exchange information related to the waterways and management.

NIWE is currently involved in the North Sea region Interreg programme which will be evaluated in September. The projects of the North Sea Region Interreg programme in which the partners are involved in are in different stages of approval: Blue Hubs, End of Boat Use and Small Hydro-systems. There are still opportunities to involve new partners in these projects. The latest call for projects in the Atlantic Interreg programme has yielded positive conversations between Canal & River Trust, Waterways Ireland and Lagan Canal Trust. New projects are discussed which will all support the development of the total network of smaller waterways in Europe.

The NIWE welcomes a new Member: Guillaume Dury, who represents Voies Navigables de France (VNF) a very experienced INTERREG partner.
The membership is expanding and new partners are welcome.

EU Referendum and NIWE

Following the UK referendum and the public decision for the UK to leave the EU, the Canal & River Trust is still committed to NIWE and the development and delivery of transnational projects with the network and other like-minded organisations.

At the Conservative Party Conference on 3rd October, Phillip Hammond (UK Govt Chancellor of the Exchequer) gave a very encouraging update on the future of EU Funding in the UK. It was announced that The Treasury will now honour all projects that have signed contracts in place until the day we officially leave the EU, even if the end date of the project surpasses this date.

The message from the Interreg Secretariats is that funding applications from the UK are still very much welcome post referendum. The Trust has had projects and Expressions of Interest approved since June 2016.

NIWE meeting London

On Thursday the 21st of April, a meeting has taken place of the NIWE (Network Inland Waterways Europe). The meeting was hosted by Canal & River Trust, one of the partners in the NIWE. On the Limehouse Basin in London came 10 representatives from 5 different countries gathered for an interesting agenda.
The agenda was focused on INTERREG Europe, they support interregional cooperation throughout Europe, and helps NIWE in the achievement of the goals through financing. NIWE is working on the future of the notably smaller waterways and supports several projects. NIWE is also developing a knowledge centre: a unique information exchange system for NIWE members with topics related to the waterways and management.
NIWE is currently involved in the North Sea region Interreg programme which will be evaluated in September. The projects arising from this are: DIME (support for micro-enterprises on our waterways), Blue Hubs, End or lifeboat (end of the life of the boat) and Small Hydro-systems. There are still opportunities to involve new partners in these projects.
The latest call for projects in the Atlantic Interreg programme has yielded positive conversations between Canal & River Trust, Waterways Ireland and Lagan Canal Trust. The NIWE welcomes a new Member: Rudy van der Ween, who represents the city of Ghent. The future of NIWE looks positively with a large number of projects in the pipeline, all with the common goal: increasing the quality of the network of smaller waterways.