Work has stared on angling stands and access paths at Glenone as phase one of a Blueways Trail Project along the River Bann.
Local SDLP Councillor Martin Kearney welcomed the move.
He said: “This is a most welcome development, re-establishing old pathways and extending the angling stands at the River Bann at Glenone.
“This phase one Blueways Trail will now extend from the Listed Bridge at Glenone to the existing Mid-Ulster Council angling facility at Molloy’s Ford, opening up great recreational and tourist opportunities.
“Down through the years this pathway along the Bann was in daily use by local people from the nearby townlands of Glenone and Ballynease to come to the village of Portglenone.
“This is a joint venture between Mid-Ulster Council and Waterways Ireland to refurbish and install 25 angling stands and provide new access paths to service the angling stands. This will complement the existing 89 angling stands and associated facilities established 25 years ago by the former Magherafelt District Council, known locally as Molloy’s Ford.”
Cllr Kearney said it is hoped to host the 2019 European Course Fishing Competition which would “give a much needed boost to the local economy.”
“Waterways Ireland have great plans for the local area, and in particular to generate increased recreational use of the waterways, attracting visitors to walk, cycle and paddle, on and along the waterways under its remit.
“Work on this project is to begin as soon as possible. It is hoped to develop a similar scheme on the Co Antrim side of the Bann at a future date.”