THE potential of the River Bann to draw people together should be exploited without delay, Coleraine DUP Alderman James McClure believes.
Speaking after the recent success of the Olympic Torch visit to Coleraine, the local representative said more should be done to attract local people and visitors to the banks of the river.
“I was thrilled to see hundreds lining the Christie Park, Town Bridge and Hanover Place for the visit of the Torch and enjoying a real spectacle,” he said.
“There was an immense feeling of pride for Bann Rowing Club that its success in producing Olympic oarsmen was central to the occasion and I heard many older spectators remark on how the turnout reminded them of the popularity of Bann Regatta in years gone by.
“I know the weather played a large part in ensuring we had a marvellous turnout for the event but when we also see how popular the annual Riverfest event is on the river no matter what the weather, I firmly believe we should be exploring other ways to utilise a facility that is central to our town.”
Alderman McClure added: “Council has commissioned reports in the past looking into ways of progressing the development of Coleraine and the River Bann has always been identified as a key component.
“Riverfest and the Olympic Torch relay are prime examples of what can be achieved. It generates a wonderful sense of community too.
“Other towns and cities are able to do it and I would urge anyone with an interest to make their views known.
“We have something special here and I think we should be making more of it.”