€6.5 million in funding for 38 projects across the country have been announced under Measure 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, which includes a number of local schemes.
Among those projects is the development of trails at Mallow Castle grounds and blueway facilities along the River Blackwater at Killavullen, which has been allocated a sum of €200,000.
Originally, it was believed the blueway would extend from Mallow through Killavullen, Castletownroche, Ballyhooly, Fermoy and Clondulane. However, at a council meeting in January, it was confirmed that the development of the Blueway will be delivered on a phased basis.
“Cork County Council will continue to explore with elected members the potential for incorporating blueway facilities at Castletownroche, with Bridgetown Abbey being the closest possible connection point and also at Ballyhooly and Clondulane.
“The overall Blueway project is subject to funding and securing appropriate rights of way to the river,” Senior Executive Officer for Operations and Rural Development, Mary Hayes said.
The funding was welcomed by local Councillor William O’Leary, who said that it would ‘no doubt provide a huge boost for the North Cork area’.
€200,000 was also allocated to Blueway facilities in Cahir for infrastructural enhancement works to the existing walking trail along the River Suir Blueway to provide a safer and more accessible walkway adjacent to the mature native Irish forest.
OVER €47K FOR BALLYRAFTER WORKS
The Owenashad River bank revetment works at Ballyrafter in Lismore, Co Waterford was also successful in securing a sum of €47,270 under Measure 2 of the scheme.
Funding for this project will see the biotechnical and ecological engineering revetment solution for the high energy Owenashad River, where significant erosion has occurred to the river walkway at Ballyrafter following recent storms.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, announced the funding last week which will benefit medium-sized projects with funding of up to €200,000 possible.
“The value we place on our outdoor amenities, and the contribution which they make to our physical and mental wellbeing has never been more appreciated than during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“We can also expect our outdoor recreation facilities to play an important part in supporting Ireland’s social and economic recovery as restrictions on movements are relaxed and the tourism sector re-opens,” the minister said.
The Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways.
The investment is in addition to €3.2 million approved for 174 smaller Measure 1 projects in January and is funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Minister Humphries is expected to make a further announcement in respect of Measure 3 projects, which consists of larger projects accessing funding of up to €500,000 each, in the coming weeks.