The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD, today (29th November) announced that he has approved over €1.8 million in funding for 109 projects nationally under Measure 1 of the 2019 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. Five projects in Leitrim were approved under this scheme with a funding allocation of €94,400.
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 of up to €20,000 for investment in outdoor recreation facilities and the promotion of existing recreation infrastructure.
The Leitrim projects promoting walking and outdoor recreation in the county are as follows:
€20,000 each goes to three trails – Arroo Trail Glenade, Keeldra Lake and Mill Race River Walkway, Drumshanbo
Arroo Trail: Upgrade of trail, extension and resurfacing of car park, improve toilet access at trail head, and installation of additional mapboards, signage, interpretative panel, seating at end of trail and promotional leaflets
Keeldra Lake: To provide full access to Keeldra Lake by building fishing points, installing seating around walkway, protection of walkway from erosion and planting of trees around walkway.
Mill Race River Walkway, Drumshanbo: Upgrade of river bank walkway along the Mill Race section of the Drumshanbo River including re-surfacing, fencing and landscaping.
In addition one of the county’s top tourist attractions, Glencar Waterfall will be enhanced with the replacement of boundary fencing at the Glencar amenity car park. The access car park has a large footfall of visitors arriving by car and coach and this enhancement will ensure the safety of the area and enhance the site.
To promote walking in Leitrim, a Leitrim Walks guide will be produced. Capacity building and training will be delivered for Walking Clubs. This project is a strategic collaboration between Leitrim Tourism Providers, Leitrim Development Company, Leitrim Recreation Forum and Leitrim County Council.
Making the announcement today, Minister Ring said:
“I am delighted to announce funding today of €1.8 million for 109 projects spread across rural Ireland. 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, the development of promotional materials, and the provision of beach access.
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.
In welcoming the funding, Cathaoileach of Leitrim County Council Enda McGloin, commented: “This is good news for the County as it will enable the creation of vital recreational projects that will build on our already excellent Slow Adventure Tourism offering. The projects will strengthen Leitrim as a destination of choice for tourists seeking outdoor recreational activities and help to create increased economic activity within the County.
Director of Service for Economic Development, Planning and Infrastructure Services, Joseph Gilhooly added that “the investment of over €100,000 in walking trails and the marketing of walking as outdoor recreation, allows both locals and visitors to enjoy the natural amenities we have to offer in Leitrim”.
Note to 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.
The successful projects approved today under Measure 1 are available here
Successful projects under Measures 2 and 3 will be announced at a later date.
Funding allocations for County Leitrim: