Minister Humphreys announced €6.5 million in funding for outdoor recreational amenities
· 38 projects across the country to benefit under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
· Projects will support enhanced interest in outdoor pursuits post COVID
· Funding made in partnership with Fáilte Ireland
· Further announcement on larger scale projects to be made shortly
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., today (4th March 2021) announced over €6.5 million in funding for 38 projects under Measure 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways. The funding announced today will benefit 38 medium-sized projects, with funding of up to €200,000 each (Measure 2 projects).
This investment is in addition to €3.2 million approved for 174 smaller Measure 1 projects in January and is being funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Examples of the projects awarded funding today include:
· Co Leitrim – Sheemore Walk and Cycle Track: €149,400
· Co Wexford – Forth Mountain Equestrian Trail and Ballybrittas Portal Tomb Walk: €166,500
· Co Sligo – Benbulben Access Upgrade Project, including new disability and age-friendly spaces: €198,000
· Co Clare – O’Briensbridge canoe trails with floating pontoon jetty: €200,000
· Co. Roscommon – Portrun Water and Land Outdoor Recreation Amenity Improvements: €200,000
· Co Cork – Trails at Mallow Castle Grounds and Blueway facilities along the River Blackwater: €200,000
· Co Cavan – Dromore Greenway: €200,000
· Co Longford – Newtownforbes Bog Walk: €200,000
· Co. Monaghan – Ballybay Trail Network: €200,000
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“The value we place on our outdoor amenities, and the contribution which they make to our physical and mental wellbeing, has never been more appreciated than during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can also expect our outdoor recreation facilities to play an important part in supporting Ireland’s social and economic recovery as restrictions on movements are relaxed and the tourism sector re-opens.
“That’s why I’m delighted to support the continued development and enhancement of our outdoor recreation infrastructure through this €6.5 million investment. In total, 38 projects across the country will benefit. This brings the total investment this year alone under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme to €9.7 million. These facilities will make such a difference to communities and will also have a hugely positive impact on tourism.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said:
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme plays a significant role in developing and maintaining key outdoor assets throughout Ireland that are utilised by locals and visitors alike. The allocation of over €6.5 million in funding for 38 projects across 21 counties today will be hugely impactful.
Successful delivery of these projects will encourage activities-based outdoor recreation and tourism in communities throughout the country. This will play a key role in developing environmentally sustainable tourism and allowing people to experience more closely the unique natural heritage of our country.”
The Minister is expected to make a further announcement in respect of Measure 3 projects (larger projects accessing funding of up to €500,000 each) in the coming weeks.
Measure 1 was announced in January 2021 and a list of successful projects is available here.
Measure 2 projects announced today are available here.
The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) provides funding under three separate Measures to support outdoor recreation:
· Measure 1: Small Scale Repair/Promotion and Marketing (up to €20,000 grant available)
· Measure 2: Medium Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Trail/Amenity development (up to €200,000 grant available)
· Measure 3: Large Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Strategic Trail/Amenity Development (up to €500,000 grant available).
All three measures under ORIS are supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. Project applications are submitted from Local Authorities (and Local Development Companies in respect of Measure 1), following consultation with local communities.
Under the current round of the programme, which was launched in 2020, the Department of Rural and Community Development provides funding of up to 90% of the total approved project costs, with the additional 10% to be provided from other sources.