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Press Release

Five Offaly projects to be supported with €60,000 investment under Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme - Minister Ring

Published: 28 November 2019
From: Department of Rural and Community Development

Mr Michael Ring, TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development , today announced that he has approved €60,080 to invest in the enhancement of five outdoor projects in Offaly under Measure 1 of his Department’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (2019).

The scheme is part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Rural Regeneration and Development programme, and provides funding for the development and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways.

The funding awarded today will support small-scale local projects with funding for investment in outdoor recreation facilities and the promotion of existing recreation infrastructure.

Prior to today’s allocation, Minister Ring has allocated more than €1.3 million in the last two years to walking and cycling trails in Offaly through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. Further funding in relation to mid-sized and larger projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will be announced in the new year.

The following projects in Offaly have received funding:

    PROJECT DESCRIPTION LOCATION ALLOCATION
    Outdoor recreation videography bank Production of 30-60 second videos showcasing outdoor pursuits in Offaly which will be used on social media and website. Grand Canal Greenway €14,760.00
    Offaly Outdoor Recreation Marketing project Production of Offaly Outdoor Recreation brochures to be disctributed in tourist office, various attractions and activity providers throughout Offaly and the development of content for the Visit Offaly website and social media. Grand Canal Greenway €15,760.00
    Slieve Bloom Way & ancillary loops Maintenance of the Slieve Bloom Way including repair and replacement of trail furniture and signage, resurfacing of route and promotion of amenity. Cadamstown/Kinnity €11,860.00
    Offaly Way & ancillary loops (Kilcormac/lough Bora) Maintenance of the Offaly Way including repair and replacement of trail furniture and signage, resurfacing of route and promotion of amenity. Kilcormac to Lough Bora €11,860.00
    Grand Canal Loop, Edenderry Creation of 10 additional car park spaces, new mapboard at the car park and signage showing the route. Killeen Bridge, Grand Canal, Edenderry €5,840.00

Making the announcement today, Minister Ring said:

“I am delighted to announce funding today of €60,080 for these excellent local initiatives in Offaly. This funding will make a huge difference to the ongoing maintenance and development of the outdoor recreation facilities that are being supported. Projects approved under this measure include the upgrade of surfaces on walking trails, improvements to route signage, improved facilities at trail access points and the development of promotional materials.
“There is no doubting the importance of these projects for the wellbeing and quality of life of local residents. Projects supported under this Scheme in Offaly such as the Grand Canal Greenway provide an amazing outlet to local people and help to attract visitors.
“As a nation, we have embraced the great outdoors in growing numbers and I am pleased that my Department is playing a central role in facilitating the development of this important sector.”

The Minister continued:

“Our investment in outdoor recreation facilities and infrastructure also pays a significant economic dividend. Thousands of tourists make walking, hiking, cycling and other outdoor pursuits an important part of their stay in Ireland. Last year alone, almost 2.7 million overseas visitors engaged in some form of cross country walking or hiking, while over 0.5 million visitors incorporated cycling into their stay. In addition, one in four of us included walking or hiking as part of our domestic holidays last year.
“Since 2016, I have provided over €43 million in funding to support the outdoor recreation sector nationally. I will shortly be making further announcements in relation to mid-sized and larger projects which have applied for funding under separate strands of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”

ENDS

Notes for editors:

The 2019 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) provides funding under three separate Measures to support countryside recreation:

Measure 1: Small scale maintenance, promotion and marketing (maximum grant €20,000)

Measure 2: Medium scale repair/upgrade and new trail and amenity development (maximum grant €200,000)

Measure 3: Large scale repair/upgrade and new strategic trail development (up to €500,000).

Project applications are submitted from Local Authorities in collaboration with Local Development Companies and other local bodies/communities.

The Department of Rural and Community Development provides funding of up to 80% of the approved costs with the additional 20% to be provided from other sources including Local Authority funds.