Budget cuts to affect landscape: warning

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News

The Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT) has warned that cuts to the DoE budget will have “a devastating impact on the Trust, its employees, its stakeholders and all the work that it provides on the ground”.

The Trust was created in 2002 by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Tourism Northern Ireland and eight local authorities, to conserve, enhance and promote the unique landscapes and heritage of the Causeway Coast and Glens for the benefit of those who live, work and enjoy the area.

Now the Trust faces a 90% reduction in funding for 2014/15.

Bill Harpur, Chairman of the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust commented: “Whilst we acknowledge that all government departments and particularly the DOE undergo high financial pressure, a cut of 90% of its contribution to the Trust will have a direct impact both on the direct management of our prized landscapes and heritage and the wider socio economic environment.”

Maxime Sizaret, Chief Executive of CCGHT added: “In 2014/15 more than £202,000 worth of projects were delivered on the ground. This does not take into account the additional staff and partner time and resources spent on the development and delivery of the projects.

“Moreover approximately 80% of the project money is spent in local businesses. We are estimating that this year if DOE had continued to support CCGHT every £1 provided by the Department of Environment to CCGHT would have a brought a further £7. This represents fantastic return on investment for NI tax payers.”

Bill Harpur concluded: “We hope that the DOE Environment Minister Mark Durkan will realise the excellent work that CCGHT is doing to protect and promote the area’s unique and outstanding landscape and heritage.”