Outdoor recreation in Ireland is to get an €11m boost, with funding now allocated for projects coming under the government’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for this year. The West of Ireland has done particularly well with all counties benefiting including some large infrastructure projects in Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim.
The grants awarded will go to a mix of smaller local measures, with grants of up to €10,000 each (Measure 1), and larger projects will have a significant national or regional impact (Measure 3), receiving grants of €100,000 to €1m.
Winning West: Where the Funding is Going
In Sligo almost one million euro in funding has been announced for out-door recreation facilities, including a grant of €840,285 for Coolaney National Mountain Biking Centre.
The funding for Coolaney National Mountain Bike Trail will facilitate the development of this amenity, and will provide for its connectivity with other major initiatives, including the Wild Atlantic Way and the Sligo Way Walking Routes.
Leitrim County Council has been granted €1 million to complete a Greenway and Cycleway from Carrick-on-Shannon along the river Shannon to Drumshanbo. The plan is to have a connected water and land based track from Carrick-on-Shannon through Leitrim Village to Lough Allen in Drumshanbo, giving visitors the option of services on either end with links to other greenways, walks and activities along the route.
County Mayo is to get iconic way-mark way as part of €11m investment; the Clew Bay Trail is to get €984,000.
In Roscommon the Miners Way and Historical Trail got €5,520, Doon Shore amenity, Lough Key, Boyle got €10,000 and Killukin Cascade Waterfall in Carrick-on-Shannon will receive €8,000.
Donegal has been allocated €66k for rural recreation projects designed to maintain and improve outdoor facilities in the county, it has been revealed. Under this funding release outdoor recreation facilities in Ballybofey, Glenties, Termon, Urris, Glencolmcille, Ballyarr, Letterkenny and others will benefit.”
Statistics from Fáilte Ireland show that in 2014 close to 1.2 million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross-country walking, spending about €915m in the Irish economy during their stay, while 286,000 visitors took part in cycling activities with a related spend of some €268m. The two sectors generated revenue for the economy of €1.2 billion.