Waterford City and County Council was successful in securing €562,140 in funding under the 2021 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), Measure 2 and 3 which was recently announced by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D.
The announcement which has committed funding support of €15.5 million for 84 outdoor adventure projects nationwide, is a key part of ‘Our Rural Future’ which will support rural economies and make rural Ireland a more attractive destination for adventure tourism in the coming years. The funding scheme which is also supported by Fáilte Ireland at National level provides funding to Local Authorities for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways.
Announcing the funding Minister Humphreys said, “The 84 projects that we are investing in today will benefit people of all ages and abilities for generations to come. This unprecedented investment will also help further our ambition to support our rural economies and make Rural Ireland a destination of choice for adventure tourism. Outdoor pursuits have become an even bigger part of all of our lives over the past two years. Through this Fund, we are developing and enhancing the fantastic natural amenities in our rural communities so more and more people can access and enjoy them.”
Under this latest round of ORIS funding the Waterford projects which will benefit include:
- Development of Crough Wood Trailhead, Amenities and Car Park, Mahon Bridge, Co. Waterford – €365,328.30
- Kilmacthomas River Walk Enhancement Works – €69,930.00
- Waterford Trails and Outdoor Amenities: Visitor and Footfall Counting Project – €76,885.44
- A separate ‘Project Development’ funding stream was also made available to projects that are at an early stage of appraisal. Waterford was awarded funding for feasibility and preliminary design of a Copper Coast Walking Trail under this category – €50,000.00
This latest funding announcement is in addition to Measure 1 ORIS funding of €57,370 which was announced back in October of this year.
Welcoming the announcement Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. Joe Kelly was delighted to see more funding from central government.
“This funding not only benefits our wonderful outdoor amenities here in Waterford, but also our local communities and rural economy. Funding support in recent years to similar projects has served to further enhance Waterford’s reputation as a wonderful location for outdoor pursuits and I have no doubt that this latest funding announcement will prove equally successful. The importance of investment in developing and maintaining our superb outdoor activity infrastructure cannot be overstated as it enhances our sustainable tourism offering and brings undeniable benefits in terms of the health and well being to our local communities, particularly at this current time.”
ORIS has funded 35 outdoor recreation projects all across Waterford since 2017 which equates to funding support of €1,893,726 being allocated to Waterford City & County Council. It is envisaged that projects funded under the scheme will be implemented throughout 2022 and 2023. Waterford’s recreational trails were highlighted as part of another ORIS funded project which was launched in June of this year promoting our wonderful amenities as part of the ‘Walk Waterford’ project. A new walking trail booklet was developed as well as a fantastic online resource with maps, photos and video which can be viewed at www.visitwaterfordtrails.com.
These existing trails and outdoor recreational opportunities are currently being actively promoted not only by Waterford City & County Council but also by Visit Waterford, Ireland’s Ancient East, other stakeholders and the wider community.
Isn’t it time to go out and explore all that Waterford has to offer!