Wicklow’s ambition to become the outdoors capital of the country took a further step closer with the latest round of funding under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) which saw an allocation of almost €500,000 for a proposed Blueway running the length of the County from north Bray to south Arklow.
The timing of this latest funding announcement is opportune as it comes in the same week that the new Outdoor Recreation Strategy (2020 -2025) for the county is due to be launched. One of the key projects in the strategy is the development of the Blueway for which funding has now been announced.
This significant pot of money will be spent on:
- Improved water access
- Trailheads and trail links
- Marketing and signage
The Blueway projects overall budget is €554,820 with Wicklow County Council providing match funding of €55,482 and a grant of €499,338.
This funding announcement comes close on the heels of a recent allocation of almost €2.5m euros for the second phase of the Celtic Routes Interreg project in collaboration with Irish and Welsh partners.
Welcoming this latest round of funding, Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Mr Frank Curran, expressed his thanks to Minister Humphries and her officials for this significant investment in Wicklow which, he said, would greatly enhance the tourism offering in the county in the post Covid period.
Director of Services and Chairman of the Wicklow Outdoor Recreation Committee, Mr Michael Nicholson, stated that this funding announcement, together with the Celtic Routes funding in recent weeks, was a great vote of confidence in the county’s ambition to be the outdoors capital of the country. He thanked all the agencies involved in the committee for their support with the ORIS application.
The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Kennedy, thanked everyone involved with this project which he said would lead to increased footfall to the County and especially those tourists seeking an alternative type of holiday experience.