Background and Aim
The aim of the project was to develop a transnational framework to coordinate the sustainable development of inland waterways at national, regional and local levels throughout the North Sea Region.
The framework focused on three key areas of activity: (1) business and product development, (2) waterway regeneration, (3) sustainable management of the waterway resource, in terms of the natural environment, sustainable transport and built heritage. The development of the framework was supported by means of a series of practical measures and pilot actions to further the economic and sustainable development. Evaluation of the pilot actions contributed to development of the framework and led to further practical actions for taking the sustainable development of inland waterways forward and suggesting priorities for future funding and investment in the sector.
There is growing interest in revitalising inland waterways as a catalyst for economic and 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 and cities with their surrounding countryside.