Investment in Blueways, Greenways, Mountain Bike Trails, Forest Parks & Angling facilities
Projects will support increased interest in outdoor pursuits & adventure tourism post-COVID
Minister Humphreys: Major spin-off economic benefits for rural communities
Funding made in partnership with Fáilte Ireland
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., has today (22nd March 2021) announced over €6 million for 14 large-scale projects under Measure 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The investment involves a significant development of many of our most popular outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways.
Today’s funding will benefit 14 projects with investments of up to €500,000 each.
It is in addition to the €9.7 million approved for 212 small and medium projects earlier this year, and is being funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Examples of the projects awarded funding today include
Co. Galway – Improvements to the Connemara Trails and Eurovelo Route, including the replacement of two bridges along the Western Way and an upgrade to the mountain bike trail at Derroura Oughterard: €500,000.
Co. Wicklow – Development of the Blue-light Blueway from Bray along the coast of Wicklow to Wexford: €499,338.
Co. Limerick – Upgrade to the Limerick Greenway (Abbeyfeale, Newcastle West, Rathkeale and surrounding areas): €418,662.
Co. Roscommon – Investment in the Mote Forest Park Outdoor Recreation Trail Experience and Cycle Link to Beara Breifne Way: €500,000.
Co. Carlow - Connecting the Wicklow Way with the South Leinster Way: €371,250.
Co. Monaghan – Significant enhancements of Hollywood Forest Park, which include the provision of a quality freshwater bathing site: €276,385.
Co. Donegal – Letterkenny to Burtonport Greenway – The Muckish Railway Walk enhancement: €500,000.
Co. Cavan – Improved access to the new ‘Killykeen Way, a 12km cycle and walking trail linking Killykeen Forest Park and Killeshandra: €323,130
Cos. Cork, Mayo, Leitrim & Galway - Improved safety and sustainable access at four angling locations, including wheelchair accessible platforms: €500,000.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said
“I know how important our outdoor amenities have been to everyone during Covid-19.
“That’s why one of my main priorities as Minister for Rural and Community Development will continue to be investing in the great outdoors: Our greenways blueways, trails, cycle paths and forest walks.
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has provided invaluable investment for outdoor amenities and facilities in rural areas over the past five years.
“In fact, since 2016, my Department has supported almost 1,000 projects.
“I am delighted to announce the allocation of a further €6 million for 14 projects large-scale projects today. These projects will support the development and expansion of significant outdoor amenities and trails throughout the country which will benefit local communities and visitors alike.
“The investment will also have major spin-off economic benefits for our rural communities.”
Minister Humphreys added
“Today’s allocation brings the total investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme since the start of this year to €15.7 million, with 226 projects being funded.
“This investment is making a significant contribution to supporting healthy, active lifestyles while also building upon the economic and tourism potential of rural areas.
“All counties that applied for funding have benefited from investment under the scheme this year, across the three funding announcements which I have made since January.
“Once again, I want to acknowledge the support of my Cabinet Colleague, Minister Catherine Martin, and our partners, Fáilte Ireland, who are contributing to the funding of successful projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) has funded 212 projects to date, and I welcome today’s announcement of a further €6 million in funding for 14 additional large scale projects around the country.
“Outdoor recreation and activities play a key role in the development of sustainable tourism nationwide, and these projects will encourage tourists and locals alike to experience the unique Irish countryside and natural environment.”
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development, Fáilte Ireland said
“Today’s announcement of €6 million investment into 14 large scale projects around Ireland provides for new and enhanced outdoor activity infrastructure for tourists in Ireland.
“The availability of world-class outdoor activities and experiences like trails, cycleways and blueways will play a key role in tourism as we prepare for re-opening and recovery, and the variety and regional spread of these projects, along with those funded in earlier measures of the ORIS Scheme, will benefit communities and visitors nationwide.”
Note to editors:
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.
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.
was announced in January 2021, Measure 2
projects were announced earlier in March and Measure 3
projects were announced today, details of successful projects under each measure is available: here.
It is envisaged that calls for proposals under the 2021 Scheme will be launched shortly.