Waterford receives almost €350,000 in funding under the 2019 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme
The Department of Rural and Community Development has recently (21st February) published details of projects to be funded under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in collaboration with Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority. The Scheme provides funding for the development and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways.
A total of over €10 million has been allocated nationally to 153 projects, on foot of applications made in 2019 under of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. The investment was approved by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD. The investment is a collaborative initiative between the Department of Rural and Community Development and Fáilte Ireland, with the Department providing €4.4 million of the total, complemented by €4 million from Fáilte Ireland.
Waterford City and County Council was awarded just under €350,000 in funding under this scheme having submitted applications for consideration in mid 2019. Of the applications that were submitted eight projects have been deemed successful and have been awarded funding of between €14,000 and €100,000 each.
The projects that have been awarded funding under Measure 2 (€20,000 to €200,000) include:
- Saint Declan’s Way: Continued development and completion of this long distance pilgrim trail here in Waterford to include interpretative signage, trail brochure and minor works, in advance of its official opening in 2020.
- Abbeyside Coastal Walk: Upgrade and development of a coastal spur off the Waterford Greenway at Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
- Dungarvan Campervan Parking area and Enhancement of Waterford Greenway Play Trail: Waterford Greenway and other developments have led to an increase in demand for formal facilities to cater for Camper vans visiting Co. Waterford. In 2019 such a facility was approved at Part VIII Planning stage and this funding will allow its development in 2020 at Rignasillogue, Dungarvan.
Waterford Greenway itself will also see the improvement and addition of a number of play areas to add to its existing play trail.
Anne Valley Walk Upgrade Works: A number of trail improvement works are planned for the enhancement of the Anne Valley Walk which is currently one of the most popular recreational trails in Waterford.
The projects that have been awarded funding under Measure 1 (less than €20,000) include:
The continued development of the EuroVelo 1 on road cycling trails from Youghal Bridge to Passage East (including Waterford Greenway). EuroVelo is a network of 16 long distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent. The routes can be used by cycle tourists as well as by local people making daily journeys. There are two EuroVelo route in Ireland and Waterford is located on EuroVelo 1 ‘The Atlantic Coast Route’.
The upgrade and improvement of the Waterford Cycling Trails, a network of five scenic on road cycling trails in County Waterford.
Improved promotion of all Waterford Recreational Trails including new brochure design, mapping, photography, videography and on line trail content, which will help promote the wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities that we have here in Waterford.
Upgrade and improvement works at Lady Louisa’s Walk, Lismore.
Welcoming this current round of funding Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. John Pratt said that “not only will this funding benefit the recreational trails that are the subject of the current development, but more importantly it will be of a wider benefit to the local communities, economies and many visitors that will no doubt enjoy these amenities for many years to come”.
In 2018, 2.6 million overseas tourists to Ireland engaged in hiking or cross-country walking, spending an estimated €1.4 billion during their stay here. A further 504,000 tourists took part in cycling activities. The projects announced under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will contribute further to Ireland’s tourism offering, and will encourage visitors to extend their holidays in rural areas and explore the many attractions the regions have to offer.