The River Lagan is a major river in Northern Ireland which runs 40 miles (60 km) from the Slieve Croob mountain in County Down to Belfast where it enters Belfast Lough, an inlet of the Irish Sea.
The Lagan in Lisburn
In a similar way to the regeneration of Belfast riverside (see below) Lisburn City Council has embarked on a series of developments around the River Lagan. The centre-piece of this strategy has been the Lagan Valley Island complex; a new headquarters for the council and an Arts Centre, wedding and conference facilites and a restaurant. Opened in 2001 the building is surrounded by the Lagan on one side and a channel linked to the river on the other.
The Lagan in Belfast
The name Belfast originates from the Irish Béal Feirste, or the mouth of the Farset, the river on which the city was built. Interestingly, the Farset has been superseded by the River Lagan as the most important river; the Farset now languishes under the city's High Street in obscurity.
In 1989 the Laganside Corporation was established by the Government to redevelop the areas surrounding the Lagan in Belfast. One of the earliest and most important undertakings of the Corporation was the Lagan Weir. Completed in 1994 at a cost of £14m, the weir controls the level of water upstream. This put an end to the appearance of mud flats at low tide, which were unsightly and emitted a strong odour.
The weir is a series of massive steel barriers which are raised as low tide approaches to keep the river at an artifically constant level. This, improvements to the sewerage system and massive dredging of the river by mechanical excavators has lead to a marked improvement in water quality and the environment around the river.
Major developments of the Laganside Corporation along the river include the regeneration of the city's former Gasworks, the Odyssey entertainment and leisure development and the Lanyon Place development which includes the Waterfront Hall, in many ways the flagship of the corporation.
Last updated: 05-23-2005 13:54:36