The inland waterway network of canals, navigable rivers and lakes forms a significant and distinctive element of the infrastructure of the North Sea Region. The waterways were constructed and developed to transport goods, linking inland regions with the sea. Now there is increasing interest in the multiple benefits that waterways can deliver in terms of enhancing the quality of life of the Region’s inhabitants.
Waterways for Growth explores how our inland waterways can best support economic growth, through encouraging business activity and by creating attractive places near which people can live and work. All this is underpinned by the sustainable management and development of the waterways and their surroundings.
Inland waterways cross a range of policy areas at European, national, regional and local levels – transport, regeneration, business & entrepreneurship, health, cultural heritage, the natural environment and climate change. The aim of Waterways for Growth is to create a transnational Framework to support a more strategic and consistent approach to the development of our multi-functionial inland waterway resource.
Waterways for Growth follows on from and builds on ideas developed through the earlier Interreg IIIB North Sea Region project Canal Link – see www.canal-link.com/.
The development of the Framework is supported by practical measures and pilot actions undertaken by project partners in relation to three themes: