Our Work

The Trust’s Objectives

  • Ensure that all our work is informed by and fits with the Programme for Government and addresses the objectives of our Departmental, current and potential partners and stakeholders;
  • Ensure that the Trust is resourced to deliver a complex programme of work;
  • Develop an important historic and cultural asset which is recognised locally, regionally and nationally as having the potential to make a significant contribution to Northern Irelands economy;
  • Contribute to addressing poverty and social exclusion;

We will achieve these through;

  • Conserving, managing and interpreting the natural, built, cultural and industrial heritage of the Navigation;
  • Develop a digital history of the Lagan Navigation – ‘Just Add Water’
  • Restoring the historic structures of existing locks whilst enabling their use through providing new lock gates and safety structures (under consent);
  • Reinstate the towpath and create new paths along the whole length of the Navigation between Belfast and Lough Neagh;
  • Connect and extend the National Cycle Route Number 9 through the Operational Area giving wider connectivity throughout Northern Ireland;
  • Through a programme of work with specialist advisers, develop a social economy training organisation to address:long term unemployment and apprenticeship opportunities during the design, construction and maintenance stages of re opening; and on going management and maintenance over a 100 year period;
  • Facilitate linkages between the Navigation, communities and public transport;
  • Contribute to community health and well being opportunities through greater access to leisure, sporting and recreational pursuits;
  • Facilitate linkages between existing facilities and additional ones e.g. links to villages in rural areas;
  • Provide a range of additional facilities for visitors, walkers and cyclists and mooring points along the Navigation to enable boat usage and other water bases activities, features and attractions;
  • Clearly defining the potential for positive social impact in local communities;
  • Re-watering the canalised sections along the Lagan through reinstating or repairing the weirs associated with each lock and lateral canal built in the 18th century to enable navigation;
  • Providing a new cascade weir and new lock at Stranmillis to replace the existing pen weir structure (the former lock at this point is lost beneath development) and enable navigation from the tidal Lagan to the river;
  • Providing a new section of river and canalised navigation between Sprucefield and Moira to replace the section of the Navigation overlaid by the M1 Motorway. This will include a canalised linkage to the Maze Long Kesh Site;
  • A programme of silt removal and dredging to reinstate a channel for boat passage;
  • Fully examining the potential the re opening of the Navigation could have on climate change in the Lagan Valley