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€4.455 million approved by Minister Ring for 75 Rural Recreation Project

Published: 5th September 2016

Mr Michael Ring T.D., Minister of State for Regional Economic Development at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs today announced the provision of funding totalling €4.455 million for rural recreation projects as part of the Government’s programme

to support rural development.

The funding will facilitate the development of new recreational facilities and the maintenance of existing recreational infrastructure across 75 projects throughout Ireland.

Speaking today, Minister Ring said:
“I am delighted to be in a position to announce this new package of funding that will ensure the maintenance of existing recreational facilities and the development of some new and exciting outdoor facilities across the country. This is the first of several tranches of funding for rural recreational facilities by my Department and reinforces the Government’s commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to support Rural Ireland.

Investment in recreational facilities has a proven effect in boosting local economies and assisting in the creation and retention of employment in the hospitality, tourism and services sectors in rural Ireland.”

Minister Ring added:
“The importance and popularity of recreational pursuits in the Irish countryside continues to grow and develop and there is great potential to benefit our rural economy. It is crucial, therefore, that we exploit this potential and maximise its impact by the strategic provision of world class amenities and facilities for the enjoyment of local residents and visitors alike. This in turn will help underpin the rural economy through the creation of sustainable employment.”

Figures available from Fáilte Ireland reveal that in 2014, close to 1.2million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross country walking. These activity tourists spent in the region of €915 million in the Irish economy during their stay. Similar statistics reveal that 286,000 visitors took part in cycling activities with a related spend of some €268 million. These two sectors combined generated revenue for the Irish economy in the region of €1.2 billion in 2014.

In total 75 projects are being funded in this first round of allocations under the 2016 Rural Recreation Scheme. These projects cover a broad spectrum, and range from Walking Trails to Greenways and feature a number of water based initiatives covering Blueways and Angling activities. The projects cover a wide geographical area, with 20 counties receiving funding for both development and maintenance works in this round.

The announcement comes just weeks after the Government launched a new €10 million Town and Village Renewal Scheme as part of its programme for rural development.

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