€46,280 has been allocated for rural recreation projects in Wicklow under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle welcomed the news and said “This funding is part of €1.8 million in funding for 128 projects nationally under Measure 1 of the 2018 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, announced by my colleague Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development.”
The scheme is a part of a government action plan for rural development and is intended to help develop and maintain outdoor amenities such as greenways, blueways, and other trails.
“Wicklow projects receiving grants include Aughrim Lake Access Improvement, Wicklow Lead Mining Heritage Trail, Walk Wicklow Leaflets, Tinahely Railway Walk and The Sean Linehan Way Repair Works.
“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.
“Aside from the obvious tourism benefits, it’s also hugely important that we maintain and develop our outdoor infrastructure to encourage everyone to keep fit and live a healthy active lifestyle.
“These 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.
“The scheme will primarily be run by Local Development Companies, Local Authorities and State Agencies, and funding will be provided to a maximum of 80% of total project cost, with the balance to be provided from other sources,” Minister Andrew Doyle said.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring said: “Recreational tourism is a growing sector in Ireland’s tourism offering, and we have seen an increase in the number of Irish and overseas visitors enjoying the many greenways, blueways and walking trails which have been developed around the country in the last few years.”