The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €88,250 in funding under the Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) 2020 (Measure 1) for five projects in County Clare.
These projects are among 173 projects in the country to benefit from €3.2 million in funding announced by the Minister on 18th January under the ORIS.
The scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways. The funding announced under Measure 1 of the scheme will support small-scale local projects with funding of up to €20,000 each.
Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard, has welcomed the announcement saying: “The importance of our outdoor recreation facilities cannot be underestimated. The last year has demonstrated more than ever the importance of outdoor amenities for our physical and mental wellbeing. There has been a notable increase in the number of people using our walking trails, cycleways, parks and other resources to exercise and keep fit, while respecting the guidelines on social distancing during Covid-19.”
The five projects in receipt of funding are as follows:
12 O’Clock Hills (€18,189) for upgrade, enhancement and promotion works
Cliffs of Moher Coastal Walk Upgrade – South (€19,438) for upgrade of coastal walk
Cliff of Moher Coastal Walk Upgrade – North (€19,933) for upgrade of coastal walk
Shannon Loop Yellow Route – Estuary (€14,400) for bicycle racks, benches, information and interpretation boards within the Estuary Walkway
Dysert O’Dea Archaeology Trail Upgrade (€16,290) – for upgrade works and development of brochure and website.
Speaking about the announcement, Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, referred to the importance of this funding which has provided investment for the development of new amenities and the enhancement of existing facilities since 2016. Mr Dowling said that investment “is now proving its worth as more and more people discover and appreciate the facilities available on their doorstep. These facilities will represent a tremendous long-term asset for rural communities and visitors alike into the future.”
Leonard Cleary, Director of Rural Development, Clare County Council, said: “The ORIS plays a key role in helping to develop and maintain key assets throughout the county that are utilised by locals and visitors alike. These trails are environmentally sustainable and are a great opportunity for people to explore and learn more about bio-diversity and the natural environment of our county.”
Further announcements in respect of medium and large-scale projects under the ORIS, with funding of up to €200,000 and €500,000 respectively for each project, is expected in the coming weeks.