Aim The aim of the project is to develop a transnational framework to coordinate the sustainable development of inland waterways at national, regional and local levels throughout the NSR.
The Framework will focus on 3 key areas of activity - (1) business & product development; (2) waterway regeneration; (3) sustainable management of the waterway resource, in terms of the natural environment, sustainable transport & built heritage. The development of the Framework will be supported by means of a series of practical measures and pilot actions to further the economic & sustainable development. Evaluation of the pilot actions will contribute to development of the Framework and lead to further practical actions for taking the sustainable development of inland waterways forward and suggest priorities for future funding and investment in the sector.
Background There is growing interest in revitalising inland waterways as a catalyst for economic & social development and area-based regeneration. Waterways support economic growth in two ways - through businesses activity (including recreation & tourism and transport); and through providing attractive places close to where people live and work, linking towns & cities with their surrounding countryside.
There is a growing interest in regenerating waterside areas and expanding the transnational network of recreational waterways because of the regeneration benefits created. The earlier Interreg IIIB North Sea Region project
A framework for the sustainable development of inland waterways;
New and expanded businesses based on waterways;
A common approach to regenerate historic waterways;
Extension of the network of recreational waterways;
New approaches to further develop the sustainable development of waterways.
April - September 2011
The project continues to implement strongly at the level of the individual partners and a wide range of relevant activities are taking place. In particular, work continues on the development of the Framework for the Sustainable Development of Inland Waterways covering (1) How waterways can contribute to the new European agenda, including Europe 2020; (2) What are the barriers / issues associated with this? (3) What needs to be done to maximise the contribution waterways can make?
In association with the development of the Framework, the partnership has begun to think about how the momentum developed through the project can be sustained after the project end date. Consideration is being given to the creation of a Waterway Innovation Hub, which would bring partners together to generate/share innovative products, processes and practices.
Pilot actions are continuing in all partner areas in relation to the other three work packages. These include an investigation into the potential role of the social economy, development of a cross-promotion tool between partners, a handbook for the water sports industry, focal / service point development, and e-routing / e-marina systems.
October 2010 - March 2011
Work has continued on the development of the Framework for the Sustainable Development of Inland Waterways through an update of links between the framework and EU policy and funding, taking account of the Europe 2020 strategy and emerging policy for the period 2014 – 2020 derived from this. The relationship between inland waterways and national / regional policy in each partner area is being reviewed and work has commenced to pilot the framework in relation to waterways in Scotland, through developing a strategy and action plan for inland waterways, tied into future European policy and Scottish Government priorities.
Pilot actions are under way in all partner areas in relation to business development, waterside regeneration and sustainable management. These are being taken forward in association with working groups for specific topics such as branding & cross-promotion between partners and Waterway focal and service points. In this context, the second transnational business networking event was held, focusing on bringing social enterprises together. Waterways for Growth has so far assisted 163 businesses and start-ups to grow.
April - September 2010
Work is progressing on the framework for the sustainable development of inland waterways drawing upon input from the pilot actions and thematic working groups. An analysis has been carried out to map the relationship between the multi-functional use of inland waterways and EU policy and funding. This work will be extended to national & regional levels in the next project period.
Specific pilot actions are under way in all partner areas related to business development, networking and clustering; the development of new water tourism offers and approaches; the creation and sustainable management of waterway focal/service points; the master planning of waterside regeneration and opening up of new waterway links; and the retention and development of freight transport on small dimension waterways.
Experiences and work developed through WfG is providing input to a project commissioned by the German Ministry of Transport (BMVBS), which focuses on concepts and models for the future organisation, staffing and financial management for improving water tourism in Germany.
October 2009 - March 2010
In the period from October 2009 to March 2010 pilot actions were commenced in relation to business development & entrepreneurship, waterside regeneration and the sustainable management & development of the waterway resource, following the agreement of these at the project meeting held in Emmen (NL). Actions so far started relate to:
Business networking & clustering, together with business support activity;
Development of new water tourism offers and products;
Marketing & promotion of water tourism opportunities;
Masterplanning of waterside regeneration and new waterway opportunities;
Sustainable management & development of waterway destinations;
Retention and development of freight opportunities on small dimension inland waterways.
The structure of the Framework for the Sustainable Development of Inland Waterways was agreed, which was developed in parallel to the revision of the Government policy for inland waterways in England & Wales (Waterways for Tomorrow).
The Waterways for Growth website www.waterwaysforgrowth.eu has now gone live. As well as providing an outline of the project and its aims and objectives, the website is also promoting forthcoming events and news items from partners.
April - September 2009
Waterways for Growth has successfully completed its start-off phase: The administrative arrangements for the project have been established and the first series of partnership meetings was organised. The branding for the project has been agreed and initial publicity material prepared. The project website has been developed over the period and is now about to go online.
The framework will set out our vision for the future sustainable management if Inland Waterways
Waterways can form the focus of regeneration projects
Waterways can contribute to developing a greener society
Waterways play a key part in developing Regional growth