Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that almost €56,000 has been allocated to six Clare projects from this year’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Three projects in Kilrush, two in Ennis and one in East Clare are all set to benefit from the scheme which will provide up to 80 per cent of the total project costs with the balance coming from Clare County Council and other sources.
The Kilrush Wood River Walk will benefit from an allocation of €10,000; a further €10,000 will go to the upgrade and maintenance of walkways at the Vandeleur Walled Gardens while €10,000 has been allocated to the development of an amenity area and walkways at Cappa.
€10,000 was allocated towards the provision of a Fartleg training course at John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road, Ennis and €7,944 will go to the development of a mountain bike trail on the Mid Clare Way in the greater Ennis area.
The East Clare Way will benefit from a €7,944 allocation to develop shorter walking loops.
Commenting on the Clare allocations, Deputy Carey said statistics from Fáilte Ireland indicated that tourists who took part in walking and cycling activities generated revenues of €1.2 billion in 2014. With strategic investment in outdoor recreation facilities, he was convinced that the Clare tourism industry could capture a significant share of that market.
“We have seen an increase in the number of Irish and overseas visitors enjoying the many walking and cycling trails that have been developed in Clare over recent years and these have added to the county’s tourism offering.
“This latest round of funding will not only support Clare’s rural tourism potential, but will also provide a diverse range of recreation options for local communities to support their own health and fitness and enjoy the countryside with their families,” he said.
The Scheme is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure and the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure.