· Investment in Blueways, Greeways, Mountain Bike Trails, Forest Parks & Angling facilities
· Projects will support increased interest in outdoor pursuits & adventure tourism post-COVID
· Minister Humphreys: Major spin-off economic benefits for rural communities
· Funding made in partnership with Fáilte Ireland
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., has today announced over €6 million for 14 large-scale projects under Measure 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The investment involves a significant development of many of our most popular outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways.
Today’s funding will benefit 14 projects with investments of up to €500,000 each.
It is in addition to the €9.7 million approved for 212 small and medium projects earlier this year, and is being funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Examples of the projects awarded funding today include:
· Co. Galway – Improvements to the Connemara Trails and Eurovelo Route, including the replacement of two bridges along the Western Way and an upgrade to the mountain bike trail at Derroura Oughterard: €500,000.
· Co. Wicklow – Development of the Blue-light Blueway from Bray along the coast of Wicklow to Wexford: €499,338.
· Co. Limerick – Upgrade to the Limerick Greenway (Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West, Rathkeale and surrounding areas): €418,662.
· Co Roscommon – Investment in the Mote Forest Park Outdoor Recreation Trail Experience and Cycle Link to Beara Breifne Way: €500,000.
· Co. Carlow – Connecting the Wicklow Way with the South Leinster Way: €371,250.
· Co. Monaghan – Significant enhancements of Hollywood Forest Park, which include the provision of a quality freshwater bathing site: €276,385.
· Co. Donegal – Letterkenny to Burtonport Greenway – The Muckish Railway Walk enhancement: €500,000
· Co Cavan – Improved access to the new ‘Killykeen Way, a 12km cycle and waling trail linking Killykeen Forest Park and Killeshandra.
· Cos. Cork, Mayo, Leitrim & Galway – Improved safety and sustainable access at four angling locations, including wheelchair accessible platforms: €500,000.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“I know how important our outdoor amenities have been to everyone during Covid-19.
“That’s why one of my main priorities as Minister for Rural and Community Development will continue to be investing in the great outdoors: Our greenways blueways, trails, cycle paths and forest walks.
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has provided invaluable investment for outdoor amenities and facilities in rural areas over the past five years.
“In fact, since 2016, my Department has supported almost 1,000 projects.
“I am delighted to announce the allocation of a further €6 million for 14 projects large-scale projects today. These projects will support the development and expansion of significant outdoor amenities and trails throughout the country which will benefit local communities and visitors alike.
“The investment will also have major spin-off economic benefits for our rural communities.”
Minister Humphreys added:
“Today’s allocation brings the total investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme since the start of this year to €15.7 million, with 226 projects being funded.
“This investment is making a significant contribution to supporting healthy, active lifestyles while also building upon the economic and tourism potential of rural areas.
“All counties that applied for funding have benefited from investment under the scheme this year, across the three funding announcements which I have made since January.
“Once again, I want to acknowledge the support of my Cabinet Colleague, Minister Catherine Martin, and our partners, Fáilte Ireland, who are contributing to the funding of successful projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development, Fáilte Ireland said:
“Today’s announcement of €6 million investment into 14 large scale projects around Ireland provides for new and enhanced outdoor activity infrastructure for tourists in Ireland.
“The availability of world-class outdoor activities and experiences like trails, cycleways and blueways will play a key role in tourism as we prepare for re-opening and recovery, and the variety and regional spread of these projects, along with those funded in earlier measures of the ORIS Scheme, will benefit communities and visitors nationwide.”