- Funding will support preparatory work required to bring large scale outdoor recreation projects to a shovel-ready stage
- Investment will ensure a strong pipeline of outdoor amenity projects right across the country in the coming years
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has today (Tuesday, 21st November 2023) announced funding of almost €2.3 million to support the development of 50 outdoor adventure projects across Ireland.
The investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will be key to enhancing outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.
The projects, when ultimately delivered, will also provide a major boost to local economies by attracting visitors and furthering our reputation as a destination for adventure tourism.
This funding will be invested in 50 outdoor recreation projects that are currently at the early stage of development.
These projects are to receive funding of up to €50,000 to bring them to a shovel-ready stage. Once at a shovel ready stage, they will be in a position to secure further funding through the other measures of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
Funding for the delivery of projects on the ground under the other Measures of the scheme will be announced by Minister Humphreys early next year.
Among the projects being funded under the Project Development Measure today include:
- Killala, Co. Mayo: Scoping the creation of Ireland’s first underwater artificial reef in Killala bay and environmental planning costs – €50,000.
- Slieve Bearnagh Mountain, Co. Clare: Feasibility study for the development of a Cycling Hub in Slieve Bearnagh – €50,000
- Linn Taoide Arainn, Co. Galway: Feasibility Study for provision of tidal pool on Arainn along the seashore – €35,847
- Derryounce, Co. Laois: Feasibility Study for the potential development of the Derryounce Amenity Area – €44,280
- Castlerea, Co. Roscommon: Screening, environmental assessments and preparation for development of Castlerea Riverside Boardwalk – €50,000
- Bray Head, Co Wicklow: Recreation Plan to manage and protect the landscape and ensure safe and appropriate recreation – €45,000
- New Ross, Co. Wexford: Planning and design for water sports opportunities in New Ross and the tidal section of the River Barrow – €47,579
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:
“We’re now heading into the darker days of winter and it’s more important than ever to make the most of those precious daylight hours by getting out and about when you can. The funding I’m announcing today will support the further development of our hiking trails, water based activities and other amenities making them even more enjoyable places for families to visit nationwide. These amenities are here for us all to enjoy. I would encourage everyone who can to get out and about, and make the most of what our countryside has to offer.”
Minister Humphreys continued:
“The Government’s Rural Development policy, ‘Our Rural Future’, has allowed us to invest in our outdoor amenities at a level never before seen in Ireland. The economic and social benefits of this investment for our rural heartland can be seen today through the unprecedented number of people enjoying the new amenities my Department has funded in collaboration with local communities all over the country. I’m also pleased that this investment will mark another step forward in delivering on the Government’s ambitious new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy – Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors.”
A full list of successful projects is available below.
List of Successful Projects ORIS Project Development Measure
|Organisation||Project Name||Project Description||Amount Approved|
|Cavan County Council||Swellan Lough Study||Study to identify potential of development of Swellan Lough as a recreational amenity||€49,500.00|
|Cavan County Council (joint with Leitrim County council)||Lough MacNean Canoe Trail||Comprehensive cross county feasibility study into the sustainable development of an innovative canoe trail. (Sum of €22,693.50 shared with Leitrim)||€22,693.50|
|Clare County Council||Slieve Bearnagh Mountain Bike Trail||Feasibility study for the development of a Cycling Hub in Slieve Bearnagh||€50,000.00|
|Clare County Council||River Fergus Activities Hub||Carry out necessary surveys, assessment and design works for the development of infrastructure that would accommodate water-based activities on the River Fergus||€50,000.00|
|Cork County Council||Knockadoon||To explore the potential to extend the existing Capel View Cliff Walk eastwards from Knockadoon Pier||€50,000.00|
|Cork County Council||River Sullane Crossing||Proposal to Design a pedestrian bridge to link the North of River Sullane section of Town Park to the South section of the park||€50,000.00|
|Donegal County Council||The Swilly Way – Riverside Walk||This project will seek to facilitate landowner engagement/stakeholder engagement, detailed design & tender preparation||€50,000.00|
|Donegal County Council||Ballyconnell Estate & Gardens Falcarragh||Multi-disciplinary team to prepare reports &documents to inform the further enhancement of the recreational amenity||€50,000.00|
|Fingal County Council||Sea Swimming at Skerries Springers||Feasibility Study for the development of infrastructure such as showers and changing facilities and completion of ramped access||€40,500.00|
|Galway County Council||Renville Forest Park Masterplan||Plan to develop a Major Tourism Attraction, Building on the Unique Heritage of Renville Forest Park||€49,950.00|
|Galway County Council||Ballinasloe Outdoor Recreation Park||Feasibility study exploring the options for the development of a public park in Ballinasloe||€49,950.00|
|Galway County Council||Linn Taoide Arainn||Feasibility Study for Provision of tidal pool on Arainn along the seashore||€35,847.45|
|Inland Fisheries||Clonwal Footbridge||Planning and design for the removal of an existing footbridge and new structure||€29,700.00|
|Inland Fisheries||Angling Accessibility South Western River Basin District||Planning and design for angling infrastructure improvements including accessible angling stands and steps||€25,650.00|
|Kerry County Council||Universal access to Ballybunion beaches||Design an accessible pedestrian route to the promenade, beach level and the proposed ‘Facility Centre for Water Based Sports Activities’ at Men’s Beach||€50,000.00|
|Kerry County Council||Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Visitor and Community Mobility Management Plan for Valentia||Design a greenway linking Knightstown, Chapeltown, Skellig Experience and Wild Atlantic Way Signature Discovery Point at Bray Head||€50,000.00|
|Kildare County||Corbally Canal and River Liffey Corridor Enhancement Feasibility||Feasibility study to assess the development potential for enhancing the Corbally Canal between Naas and Corbally Basin as a Greenway||€45,000.00|
|Kildare County Council||Liffey Valley Park – Leixlip – Straffan||Feasibility study to assess the potential of delivering a section of the wider Liffey Valley Park by way of a series of connected public open spaces||€45,000.00|
|Kilkenny County Council||Kings River Boardwalk and Pedestrian Bridge, Kells, Co. Kilkenny.||Technical consultation, & update the existing Feasibility Study through planning for Kings River Boardwalk and Pedestrian Bridge||€49,500.00|
|Kilkenny County Council||Brandon Hill Summit Walk – Upland Trail Enhancement Scheme||Engage consultants to deliver a service brief for the restoration of the upland section of the Brandon Hill Summit Walk||€49,500.00|
|Laois County Council||Derryounce Amenity Area||Completion of a Feasibility Study for the potential development of the Derryounce Amenity Area||€44,280.00|
|Leitrim County Council – joint with Cavan County Council||Lough MacNean Canoe Trail||Comprehensive cross county feasibility study into the sustainable development of an innovative canoe trail. (Sum of €22,693.50 shared with Leitrim)||€22,693.50|
|Leitrim County Council||Fenagh Abbey Trail||Design and planning approval for a 450-metre section of a looped walking trail around the Fenagh Abbey site, St Catherine’s Church of Ireland and Fenagh village||€34,200.00|
|Limerick County Council||Changing rooms / shower facilities and graded slipway at Kilteery Pier, Loghill||Appropriate assessment, environmental screening, part 8 application and preparation of tender pack for changing rooms, shower facilities and slipway at Kilteery Pier, Loghill||€50,000.00|
|Limerick County Council||Blackrock Loop_Ballyhoura Way||The project will provide appropriate assessment, environmental screening and management plan for a 4km section of walking trail in the Ballyhoura Mountains||€34,200.00|
|Longford County Council||North Longford Accessible for All Water Access||Feasibility and environmental assessments, including appropriate assessment required for the development of water access points in Lough Gowna & North Longford||€49,500.00|
|Longford County Council||South Longford Accessible for All Water Access||Feasibility and environmental assessments, including appropriate assessment required for the development of water access points at Longford, Lanesborough and Ballymahon||€49,500.00|
|Mayo County Council||Killala Bay Ships Reefs||Scoping the creation of Ireland’s first underwater artificial reef in Killala bay and environmental planning costs||€50,000.00|
|Mayo County Council||Cong to Lisloughrey Pier Recreational Trail||Detailed design for a new 3.5km scenic trail connecting Cong and the 19th Century Dry canal structure and onwards to Kellys cave||€50,000.00|
|Meath County Council||Provision of a Boardwalk through the Dunes from Mornington to Bettystown||Completion of environmental assessments, preliminary design and specification for a planning application||€50,000.00|
|Monaghan County Council||Creevy Lough Recreational Masterplan||Design consultancy for a Recreational Masterplan of Creevy Lough, Carrickmacross||€50,000.00|
|Monaghan County Council||Drum Lough Circular Walkway||Professional design, costing and planning ervices for creation of Drum Lough Circular Walkway||€50,000.00|
|Offaly County Council||Peatland Communities of Offaly: Quality of Life, Place & Experience||Technical support for communities to identify cluster opportunities for linking tracks, trails and recreational amenities in the peatlands||€49,500.00|
|Roscommon County Council||Castlerea Riverside Boardwalk||Screening, environmental assessments and preparation for development of Castlerea Riverside Boardwalk||€50,000.00|
|Roscommon County Council||Athleague Village Looped Walk linked to Suck Valley Way||Screening, route design and preparation for Athleague Village Looped Walk linked to Suck Valley Way||€50,000.00|
|Sligo County Council||Hazelwood Footbridge||Feasibility for a pedestrian/cyclist bridge across the Garavogue River at Cleveragh||€50,000.00|
|Sligo County Council||Lough Lumman Viewing Point||Feasibility for the development of an iconic viewing point platform at Lough Lumman on the Sligo Way.||€50,000.00|
|Sligo County Council||Coney Island Access||Identification of deliverable improvements to pier facilities at Coney Island||€50,000.00|
|Tipperary County Council||Garrykennedy Inner Harbour Upgrade||Consultancy services to undertake planning and design works for the upgrading of the inner harbour in Garrykennedy||€49,500.00|
|Tipperary County Council||Roscrea River Rooms||Consultancy for detailed design, planning and feasibility for a series of connected spaces along the riverside in Roscrea||€49,999.50|
|Waterford County Council||Comeragh Mountains Outdoor Recreation Management Plan||Plan for the development and management of high-quality Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in the Comeragh Mountains||€50,000.00|
|Waterford County Council||Blackwater River Valley Outdoor Recreation: Development of River Access Points for Water-based Activity||Design of improved river access points to facilitate water-based activities at Ballyduff Upper, Tallow (R. Bride) and Lismore (R. Owenashad) in Blackwater River Valley||€50,000.00|
|Westmeath County Council||Greenway link from Castletown Geoghegan to the Old Rail Trail||Design and planning for a Greenway link from Castletown Geoghegan Rail Station to the village of Castletown Geoghegan||€50,000.00|
|Westmeath County Council||Moate Gateway Linear Park||Design of a 6km spiritual and cultural trail in Moate Gateway Linear Park||€50,000.00|
|Wexford County Council||New Ross Water Hub Development||Planning and design for water sports opportunities in New Ross and the tidal section of the river barrow||€47,578.50|
|Wexford County Council||The Cot Watersports Hub and Trailhead||Planning and design for new infrastructure to support a water trail||€35,795.00|
|Wicklow County Council||Lugnaquilla Recreation Plan||Recreation Plan for the Lugnaquilla uplands area to manage visitor numbers, land use, habitats and safety in changes to access routes||€45,000.00|
|Wicklow County Council||Bray Head Sustainable Recreation Plan||Recreation Plan to manage and protect the landscape and ensure safe and appropriate recreation||€45,000.00|
|Udaras||Lúibín Gharumna||Planning, design and screening for the development of Additional Spurs on Luibín Gharumna||€22,770.00|
|Udaras||Cois Caolaire||Planning and screening for the extension of an existing walk to 5km and incorporating a strong heritage engagement experience||€45,810.00|
Our Rural Future
Our Rural Future is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025 It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas.
Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors
Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors, the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2023-2027, launched in 2023 was developed in collaboration with Comhairle na Tuaithe and is a collaborative Cross-Government, stakeholder-led strategy. It reflects the views of stakeholders, the public and the whole of Government and it sets the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come.
The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) provides funding as follows:
- Measure 1: Small scale repair/development/promotion and marketing (up to €30,000 grant available)
- Measure 2: Medium scale upgrade and new trail/amenity development (up to €200,000 grant available)
- Measure 3: Large scale repair/upgrade and new strategic trail/amenity development (up to €500,000 grant available)
- Project Development Measure: Development costs for strategic large scale Measure 2 or Measure 3 type projects e.g. detailed design, preparation for the planning and/or proc