Cork North West is to benefit from €40,000 funding for two projects under 2019 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
€20,000 has been allocated for works at the James O’Keeffe Walkway in Newmarket. These works include the resurfacing of the existing walkway; installing drainage, picnic tables and seating, an information table and signage, a fairy trail; and the development of a natural play area. A further €20,000 has been allocated for the widening of the original roadway at Bolomore Way in Rathcoole.
Cllr. O’Shea welcomed the funding by saying “There is no doubting the importance of these projects for the wellbeing and quality of life of local residents. As a nation, we have embraced the great outdoors in growing numbers and I am pleased that Fine Gael in Government is playing a central role in facilitating the development of this important sector.
“The funding awarded this week will support small-scale local projects for investment in outdoor recreation facilities and the promotion of existing recreation infrastructure and I know this will make a big difference to local people. Our investment in outdoor recreation facilities and infrastructure also pays a significant economic dividend.
Cllr. O’Shea added “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 half a 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.”
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, TD, 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.
“Since 2016, I have provided over €43 million in funding to support the outdoor recreation sector. I will shortly be making further announcements in relation to mid-sized and larger projects which have applied for funding under separate strands of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”
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.