Funding of almost €11m has been approved for dozens of outdoor recreation infrastructure projects, as part of the government's Action Plan for Rural Development.
In total 78 projects have been approved funding, ranging from the development of medium scale new projects to the repair and upgrade of many existing recreational trails in rural areas. The successful projects will receive grants of up to €200,000 each.
The funding, which falls under Measure 2 of the 2018 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, was announced by Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, and Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development with Fáilte Ireland.
Measure 2 projects benefitting from the scheme include the Great Arch Trail from Pollet to Fanad Head in Donegal; the development of an Outdoor Activity Hub in Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny; and the development of the Boyne Greenway in Drogheda, Co. Louth.
The scheme provides funding under three separate measures - Measure 1 for small maintenance (grants up to €20,000), Measure 2 for repairs and developments of medium scale projects (grants up to €200,000), and Measure 3 for repairs and developments of larger more strategic projects (grants up to €500,000).
Minister Ring said: “The funding being announced today builds on the €10 million which I allocated during 2018 to 150 projects under Measures 1 and 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and brings the total investment from the 2018 call for proposals to almost €21 million.”
“Over €40 million has now been allocated to almost 600 projects under this scheme since 2016 to improve existing, and develop new, walking trails, greenways and other recreational amenities for communities and visitors all over Ireland.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Strategic Development with Fáilte Ireland, said: “The continued development of our recreational infrastructure will not only support Ireland’s developing rural tourism industry, but will also provide better recreation options for local people and families for their own enjoyment of the countryside.”