Town centre pontoon to tap into tourist potential

PLANS to make Enniskillen, Ireland’s only island town, into the ‘go to’ destination for water activities have been stepped up a notch.
Those in and around the town over the past week may have noticed work underway on a new pontoon alongside the Erneside footbridge. This work is being carried out by Waterways Ireland who are relocating their Enniskillen Blueway activity hub to the town-centre location.
Set up initially last year at the Waterways Ireland HQ off the Sligo Road, the facility was built as part of the wider plans for the Erne Blueway, which is aimed at maximising the potential of our many water systems in the county.
Director of business development at Waterways Ireland, John Boyle, said their aim was to create ‘an iconic structure’ in the middle of town.
“We’re in the process of making the floating pontoon at the moment, on which we will have the office and storage on the facility,” he said.
“The wooden huts that were at the back of here at Waterways Ireland will be placed on top of the pontoon.
“What we’re hoping is it will be more visible from the town centre, more visible from Erneside, more visible from the passing traffic.”
Mr Boyle added: “One thing we’re very much aware of is Enniskillen, as an island town, is devoid of water based activities where visitors and indeed locals can come and hire out a canoe, hire out a paddle board, or whatever. We’re even looking for things that are even more unique than that, such as pedalos, things like that.”
Mr Boyle said Waterways Ireland had already received “substantial interest” after advertising just last week seeking expressions of interest from providers of water based activities to operate from the
facility. It is hoped work on the pontoon will be finished by Friday week and it will be operational by the end of the week.
With much, much more in the pipeline for the Blueway project this summer, the advice is to watch this space!

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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