Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced €15.5 million in funding for 84 outdoor adventure projects. Included in the announcement is the Sliabh Liag Cliff Experience and the Letterkenny to Burtonport Greenway, known as 'The Muckish Railway Walk'.
The Sliabh Liag Cliff Experience includes upgrade works on four sections of the existing mountain train path and amounting to €269,682 and the Letterkenny to Burtonport Greenway enhancement includes an upgrade to a specific 1km section of the former Burtonport to Letterkenny rail-line to greenway standard, amounting to €200,000.
The major investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will see the development of 66 natural amenities and support outdoor pursuits such as hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, swimming and cycling.
For the first time under the scheme, funding is also being provided to progress 18 outdoor recreational projects that are at an early stage of development.
The investment – a key part of Our Rural Future – will support rural economies and make Rural Ireland a more attractive destination for adventure tourism.
The projects chosen for investment include walking and cycling trails, cliffways, beaches, lakes, rivers, bogs, greenways, blueways and bridleways.
Today’s announcement brings the total investment announced this year under the scheme to almost €35 million.
Minister Humphreys made the announcement at the Nobber to Castletown Greenway in Nobber, Co Meath today. A further section of this Greenway from Wilkinstown to Castletown received approval of €500,000 in today’s funding announcement.
Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:
“The 84 projects that we are investing in today will benefit people of all ages and abilities for generations to come. This unprecedented investment will also help further our ambition to support our rural economies and make Rural Ireland a destination of choice for adventure tourism. Outdoor pursuits have become an even bigger part of all of our lives over the past two years. Through this Fund, we are developing and enhancing the fantastic natural amenities in our rural communities so more and more people can access and enjoy them.”
Among the other Measure 2 and Measure 3 projects being funded across the county today include:
The Minister continued:
“This investment will be felt in every county and is further proof of the positive impact ‘Our Rural Future’ is having across the country. I’m also really pleased to provide over €855,000 in funding to support 18 further projects that are at an earlier stage of development. These projects, when complete, will make Rural Ireland an even better place to live, work, visit and raise a family. I want to acknowledge the support of our partners, Fáilte Ireland, who are once again contributing to the funding of successful projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”
Welcoming the ORIS announcement Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said:
“Fáilte Ireland has invested more than €11million to the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme over the past three years, with a further €4million this year. In partnership with the Department of Community and Rural Development this four-year investment has helped to truly transform the landscape of Ireland. From a tourism perspective the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is ensuring our great outdoors are opened extensively and enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. The range of projects covering walking and cycling routes, water sports facilities, angling facilities, swimming and equestrian trails throughout Ireland are world-class and make Ireland a renowned destination for activity tourism which we must continually build on. A new measure this year – the Project Development Measure – will fund the detailed development of long-term projects that will enable the delivery of strategic, sustainable development of outdoor recreational facilities in the coming years. The inclusion of outdoor swimming facilities is welcome. As a nation we’ve taken to the water like never before and these new facilities will greatly assist in helping to maintain and build on this.”