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Tourism Minister Catherine Martin (L) and dlrcc Cathaoirleach Lettie McCarthy at the announcement of the new trails, Source: dlrcc on Facebook

Irish adventure park elevated to world class with 6 new mountain biking trails

Irish adventure park elevated to world class with 6 new mountain biking trails

dlrcc has provided support to The Gap in terms of funding and promotion over the years

Glencullen Adventure Park – The Gap has expanded their trail network with 6 new gritty mountain biking trails. This is not just another plus for the park, situated in the Dublin/Wicklow mountain border, just 20 minutes from Dublin city centre. The expansion is expected to push up Ireland’s international ranking as an adventure tourism destination while giving young Irish racers a more competitive edge in leading global racing events.

Local council support

The Gap invited this month 30 top-class riders to test the 6 highly anticipated trails ahead of their opening on 4 September. The response of the pros was enthusiastic across the board and most of them remarked they had never seen anything like this in Ireland before.

Over the last 4 years the GAP has become a veritable breeding ground for biking talent for which Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council can take credit. Dlrcc has supported the GAP in funding and promotion of their downhill and enduro races, starting in 2019, as well as part-funding the construction of the park’s outdoor dining area.

Trails funded by the LEADER programme

The initial construction of the 6 new trails was 50 percent funded by the LEADER programme, part of Ireland's Rural Development Programme that is co-financed by the EU. The programme supports private enterprises and community groups in rural areas using a locally-led, bottom-up approach.

The announcement of the new trails was attended by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, Cathaoirleach (chairperson) of DLR County Council Cllr.Lettie McCarthy, and Eilish Harrington, CEO of Fingal Leader Partnership, responsible for the key funding for the project.

World’s fastest-growing tourism segment

Speaking of the new trails, An Cathaoirleach Lettie McCarthy said, as quoted by the dlrcc website:

“The GAP is at the forefront of outdoor activities and sustainable active tourism in the Dublin Mountains. It is a great example of how a local business can grow and thrive in our upland areas. I’m delighted that the Council has been able to assist the GAP with its business expansion and I wish them and all their mountain biking patrons the very best in the future.

These trails greatly enhance the GAP's offering and will attract riders from overseas tapping into a very current and active adventure tourism marketing trend!”

Sinead Murphy from The GAP added:

“COVID-19 has proved to be a boon for the mountain bike industry as bike sales have risen up to five times during the pandemic. Adventure tourism is the fastest-growing tourism industry worldwide, and several countries are focusing on new mountain bike strategies aiming for an economic boost. The global mountain biking industry is now valued at around 8.8 billion.”

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