€15M outdoor adventure activities fund a major boost to rural tourism

Minister Heather Humphreys announcing outdoor recreation funding. (Picture: Rory Geary)

A major €15 million fund that will support dozens of outdoor adventure projects across the country has been launched.

The 2022 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), which will place a particular focus on developing adventure tourism in rural Ireland, will see the development of natural amenities such as our mountains, lakes, beaches, bogs, walkways, greenways and blueways.

The scheme, launched by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD on Friday, saw its funding increased as part of the Budget.

The projects that will be supported under ORIS are designed to benefit the health and wellbeing of the communities in which they are located. ORIS provides funding for the development of new and existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas and funds trails, cycleways, blueways and bridleways, as well as outdoor amenities located near rivers, lakes and beaches.

The 2022 scheme will provide investment ranging from €30,000 for small scale projects and up to €500,000 for large scale projects – an increase on last year’s scheme.

Funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, projects applications will be accepted under the following Measures:

Measure 1 for small scale projects requiring funding of up to €30,000; Measure 2 for medium scale projects with funding of up to €200,000; Measure 3 for large scale projects seeking funding of up to €500,000, and Project Development Measure funding of up to €50,000 for development costs for strategic large scale projects.