Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Monday, January 18th) announced almost €3.2 million in funding for 173 projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. A total of 8 projects in Leitrim received funding with a cumulative value of €155K, with Leitrim County Council being successful in 7 applications and being awarded funding of €134,930.
The scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways.
The funding announced today, under Measure 1 of the Scheme, will support small-scale local projects with funding of up to €20,000 each.
It is being announced in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, who are co-funding the projects with the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Further announcements in respect of medium and large-scale projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, with funding of up to €200,000 and €500,000 respectively for each project, will be made at a later stage by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“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.
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has provided investment for the development of new amenities and the enhancement of existing facilities since 2016 and that investment is now proving its worth as more and more people discover and appreciate the facilities available on their doorstep.
“I am delighted to support the continued development and enhancement of outdoor recreation infrastructure through the allocation of almost €3.2 million for 173 projects across the country, with a particular focus on rural areas. These facilities will represent a tremendous long-term asset for rural communities and visitors alike into the future.
“I want to acknowledge the support of our partners, Fáilte Ireland, who are once again co-funding the successful projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland, said:
“Outdoor Recreation will play a vital role in helping tourism businesses throughout Ireland recover from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year, Irish people embraced the outdoors, utilising walking and cycling trails and blueways to explore the natural beauty Ireland has to offer. Along with the health benefits associated with outdoor recreation, domestic tourism also generated economic activity in rural locations around the country.
Caothairleach of Leitrim County Council, Councillor Mary Bohan welcomed the projects approved for County Leitrim, commenting “Leitrim residents have embraced the outdoors in particular over the last 12 months during the pandemic and without doubt this funding will further enhance the recreation facilities available for both the citizens of our county, and visitors to the county, to enjoy. The importance of quality recreational facilities and amenities cannot be underestimated in safeguarding our health and wellbeing especially in the current environment”.
The successful projects submitted by Leitrim County Council approved today under Measure 1 for Leitrim are:
Mohill : Lough Rynn Trail – Development of Trail Link - €19,800
Glenfarne : Glenfarne Woods Thematic Placement and Design - €20,000
Glenfarne : Glenfarne Demonstration Trail Enhancement - €19,350
Glencar : Glencar Waterfall, upgrade works - €18,000
Cloone : Keeldra Lake Trail Development - €19,800
Carrick on Shannon : Castlecara Trail Extension - €19,980
Lough Allen : Corry Strand Amenity, Trail Upgrade - €18,000