Cycling and walking routes were among the projects which benefited from €8 million in funding of 18 strategic projects under the 2018 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The Department of Rural and Community Development said that the projects the funding will support the development of section 1C Lecanvey to Bertra of the proposed Clew Bay Trail Section walking and cycle route between Belclare and Louisburgh in Mayo, the Connemara Greeenway on a disused railway line between Clifden and Oughterard in Galway, a new cycle route from Lough Key Forest Park to the town of Boyle in Roscommon, and the upgrade and maintenance of a section of the Longford Town Royal Canal paths between Harbour View and Churchland Bridge.
The funding includes support funding for the development of a greenway link along the former Kilbeggan Branch Canal for 13km and provision of a 1km line from the greenway which terminates at the harbour into urban core of Kilbeggan Town in Westmeath, and a section of greenway from Belturbet to Corraquill in Cavan which is the second phase within Cavan of the larger Greenway project which extends from Belturbet in Cavan to Dromod in Leitrim.
It also includes the provision of a “Walk/Cycleway” along the N52 ring-road around Kells in Meath.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, said: “I am delighted to announce funding of €8.14 million to 18 projects that encapsulate the diversity of work that is ongoing across the country to provide high quality recreational infrastructure for visitors and locals alike. The projects which I am approving today range from innovative mountain bike trails in Sligo, to developing an 18 acre municipal park in Wexford.”
Minister Ring said: “Local Authorities, State Agencies and communities have spent significant time and effort developing the project proposals over the last number of months and I am very happy to be able to provide the financial resources necessary to support so many projects, whether at local or regional level. I firmly believe that the continued development of our recreational infrastructure will not only support Ireland’s rural tourism potential, but will also provide a diverse range of recreation options for local communities to support their own health and fitness and enjoy the countryside with their families. I will be making further announcements at a later stage in relation to mid-sized projects which have applied for funding under a separate strand of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”
He added: “The funding which I’m announcing today builds on €1.8 million which I allocated earlier this year to 128 smaller scale local projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. Approximately €30 million has now been allocated to over 500 projects under this scheme since 2016 to improve walking trails, greenways and other recreational amenities for communities and visitors all over Ireland”.
The full list included: