The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced funding of almost €6 million to develop 200 outdoor adventure projects across Rural Ireland.
The investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will be key to enhancing our outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.
It will also provide a major boost to local economies by attracting visitors and furthering our reputation as a destination for adventure tourism.
As part of the announcement, almost €4.3 million will be used to improve some 163 outdoor amenities across the country. Each project will receive up to €30,000 to support their enhancement.
Furthermore, funding will also be invested in 37 outdoor projects that are currently at the early stage of development. These projects are to receive funding of up to €50,000.
Funding for larger scale projects under Measures 2 and 3 of the scheme will be announced by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.
Among the projects being funded under Measure 1 include:
- Fountainstown Carrigaline, Co. Cork: Improve access for water sport, as well landscaping works – €30,000
- Ballyboy Forest, Co. Wicklow: Create a looped equestrian trail – €29,700
- Kilrush, Co. Clare: Link the cycle routes from the town centre and along the nearby coastal roads – €21, 207
- Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny: Upgrade Wood Road between the village and the River Barrow Amenity Area – €29,700
- Dunmore East, Co. Waterford: Enhancement of Open water swim amenities – €25,200
- Kincasslagh Tower, Co. Donegal: Upgrade access road to the signal tower and provide bench seating – €30,000
- Carrabane Forest Muddy Walks, Co Galway: “Feel the Forest” multi-use family trail at Carrabane Forest Walk – €29,250
- Carlingford, Co. Louth: Carlingford Omeath Greenway Upgrade – €30,000
Project Development Measures:
- Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford: Extend the Enniscorthy Riverside Walk – €49,500
- Glen Wood Footbridge, Co. Sligo: Pedestrian suspension rope bridge/ footbridge – €50,000
- Balbriggan, Co. Dublin: Feasibility study for a tidal swimming pool – €50,000
- Culdaff, Co. Donegal: Develop plans for pontoon at existing timber jetty near Bunagee in Culdaff
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said, “we’re at the height of the Summer and whatever the weather I know families are getting out and enjoying Ireland’s great outdoors. The funding I’m announcing today will support the further development of our greenways, blueways and hiking trails making them even more enjoyable places for families to visit. Every county will benefit from this announcement so if you’re a walker, a swimmer, a cyclist or even a fisherman – check out the list to see what’s happening in your county. Getting active in the fresh air outdoors can be a tonic for the body and soul and this was brought home to us all during the pandemic. Some of these amenities are often hidden gems on our doorsteps so I’m encouraging people to get out and discover them over the rest of the Summer.”
Minister Humphreys continued, “over the last number of years my Department has provided unprecedented investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by our most ambitious rural development policy in decades – ‘Our Rural Future’. Outdoor recreation tourism is a growing sector internationally, and has the potential to have major economic spin-off benefits for our rural towns and villages. My Department is at an advanced stage of developing the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy which will underpin this investment and give it a platform for further growth.”