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 Home / About Us / Communication / News / Blue Links Project Communication 
Blue Links Project Communication «  Back

Few things say "Congratulations!" like a press cutting. And with cause : getting an INTERREG story in the press is often seen as the most difficult communication challenge.

Yet the Blue Links partnership's field trip to the UK was crowned with success in the French regional press . The JTS was represented during the trip and was able to see how this happened. Three elements were obvious :

1 - the quality of the demonstration
The trip highlighted the remarquable step forward made by British Waterways and their partners in restoring canals and promoting canalside activities.

2 - the lead partner and all partners were present on the trip, which showed their clear commitment to learning from each other

3 - A press team, internal to the CUDL (communication activity leader), and a communications consultant, all worked closely on getting the right people on the trip, including the right members of the press to come on the trip, and giving them something tangible to write about.

What the Journalists were given was a press pack with all the facts and figures. They were able to meet and interview the officials responsible for setting up and coordinating the project, and of course they were given canals. Canals restored, canals whose past and future was explained both verbally and visually. They were given an insight into what lay ahead for the Deule-Escault link : recreational and sustainable economic value, the attractiveness for leasure boating activities (the UK has a very good example of this) and local tourism. All of this in two very active days and many examples .

What they actually wrote about was the fact that 20 key players in town planning made it over to Birmingham to get inspiration on how to make life and environment in the North of France better for all. Now isn't that what transnational cooperation is actually all about? That's what the journalist of La Gazette du Nord pas de Calais decided to write an entire page about, and which the editorial board of the publication chose to have on the the front page of their weekly.

There were five journalists present, and the study visit to the UK got 3 mentions in the press. To find out more, please contact Olivia Ruant, Communication Consultant for the Blue Links project :

>> NWE Project description


The EU project Blue Links is a IIIB project which aims to re-open to navigation the DeleEscaut link.
The scheme will require 3 years of works to be completed (2005-2008).

37 million Euros are needed for its completion and funded as follows:

  • 50% by Europe,
  • 50% by a Franco-Belgian partnership. 

Consequently, thanks to a large scale restoration scheme and to the participation and mobilisation of Europe, Voies Navigables de France, the Lille Metropolitan Council, the Wallonian Ministry of Public Works, the Water Agency and the Conseil Gnral, the Blue Links project:

  • aims at the re-opening of the canal to pleasure navigation by 2008,
  • integrates the objectives of the trame verte of the Lille metropolis,
  • regenerates an extended urban area and a post-industrial space in full reconversion.



The Group of Experts

A condition for EU funding of the Blue Links project was the effective exchange of experience, techniques and methods not just among the project partners but also with the other EU-funded waterway projects.
The related projects and their partners extend the process of exchange of experience to countries such as Italy, Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands.
Representatives of all these projects exchange information on a regular basis. The project will therefore benefit from exchange of information among a wide variety of canal restoration and development initiatives.

cities&regions transport&it water&flood risks nature&heritage seas&ports