Fine Gael TD and Minister of State, Andrew Doyle has welcomed the announcement of €392,000 for a rural recreation project in Wicklow under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
“Wicklow has been allocated €392,000 for rural recreation projects, which is extremely welcome and will help to boost tourism here in Wicklow and in the surrounding region.
“This funding is part of €8 million in funding for 18 strategic projects nationally under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, announced by my colleague Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development,” Minister Doyle said.
The Scheme is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and provides funding for the development and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as greenways, walking trails and other recreation projects.
The grants being announced today will support a mix of large scale repair and upgrade measures and new strategic trail development measures, with grants of up to €500,000 each under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Avonmore Way Link Bridge project has received €392,000. This project will develop a new pedestrian bridge over the River Avonmore linking the Avonmore Way with the Jubilee Way. By connecting these two routes, recreational users can move safely from Rathdrum town to the National Park Site.
“Recreational tourism is growing year on year and so it is crucial we continue to improve facilities and encourage more visitors. Figures from Fáilte Ireland show that the hiking and cycling tourism markets are worth approximately €1.2 billion to the Irish economy.
“These activity tourists spent in the region of €915 million in the Irish economy during their stay.
“These strategic projects will enhance existing recreational facilities for the benefit of the communities who use them every day, and also for the many tourists who enjoy visiting our rural areas.
“Projects approved under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will primarily be run by Local Authorities and State Agencies, and funding will be provided to a maximum of 80% of total project costs, with the balance to be provided from Local Authority or other sources, “Minister Doyle said.
Minister 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 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.”