173 outdoor recreational projects in Ireland get state support

173 outdoor recreational projects in Ireland get state support

The funds are channeled towards the development and maintenance of trails, walkways, cycle paths and blueways

173 local projects in Ireland will share almost EUR 3, 2 million in funding under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.  Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., made this announcement on Monday, detailing the Scheme’s progress.    

The government scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of new and existing outdoor recreational amenities in rural areas such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways (a network of trails running alongside Ireland's lakes, canals and rivers).

Small-scale projects funded with up to EUR 20 000 each

The funding announced on 18 January is under Measure 1 of the Scheme which supports small-scale local projects to the tune of up to EUR 20 000 each. Medium and large scale projects will not be left behind, but the recipients will be announced at a later stage. The latter will be awarded funding of up to EUR 200 000 and EUR 500 000 respectively for each project.

The projects are co-funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and their partner Fáilte Ireland (the National Tourism Development Authority). Compared to 2020, there will be a 20 percent increase in funding for outdoor projects.  

Here are some of the small-scale projects awarded funding:

  • Co. Donegal– Bealacht na Gaeltachta Trail enhancement: EUR 20 000
  • Co. Monaghan– Investment in the Ulster Canal Greenway: EUR 20 000
  • Co. Kerry– Development of a public amenity space at the Tralee Bay Coastal Walkway/Cycleway: EUR 20 000
  • Co. Tipperary– Improvement works at the trail of the Rock of Cashel site: EUR 19 800
  • Co. Roscommon– Enhancement of the cycleway from Boyle to Lough Key: EUR 20 000
  • Co. Sligo– Coolaney River walk upgrade: EUR 16 650
  • Co. Cork– Redevelopment of walks along with improving disability access and the development of a sensory path at Island Wood, Newmarket: EUR 20 000
  • Co. Mayo– Development of a bog walk in Clogher: EUR 19 800
  • Co. Westmeath– Old Rail Trail Greenway enhancement: EUR 20 000
  • Co. Waterford– Mount Melleray Monastery Walks upgrade: EUR 18 824

Promoting tourism and healthy lifestyle

Commenting on the six County Limerick projects awarded under the Scheme, Limerick City and County Council said that the trail enhancements will boost economic and tourism potential in the countryside and facilitate recreational activities, promoting a healthy active lifestyle at the same time.

Highlighting the latter aspect, Minister Humphreys said, quoted by “The last year has demonstrated more than ever the importance of outdoor amenities for our physical and mental wellbeing. There has been a notable increase in the number of people using our walking trails, cycleways, parks and other resources to exercise and keep fit, while respecting the guidelines on social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis.”

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