€4.1 million to develop and upgrade over 150 outdoor recreation projects Announced

  • Projects to receive up to €30,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme
  • Investment to attract visitors to our mountain trails, forest walks, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches
  • Minister urges people to ‘get outdoors and see what Rural Ireland has to offer’

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Thursday March 28th,) announced funding of €4.1 million to develop and enhance over 150 outdoor recreation projects.

The investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will be key to enhancing our mountain trails, forest walks, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

It will also provide a boost to local economies by attracting more visitors to our rural communities.

Up to €30,000 will be invested will in each project under today’s round of funding – with a focus being placed on small scale enhancements, upgrades and repairs.

Among the projects being funded include:

  • Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscrai, Co. Cork: Development of new 2.2 km section of Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí – €26,880
  • Traught Beach Accessibility Upgrade, Co. Galway: Upgrade accessibility to Traught Beach – €29,700
  • Ballybunion – Beach Access, Co. Kerry: Maintenance and repair works at Ballybunion South Blue Flag Beach – €30,000
  • Derryounce Lakes & Trails Trail Upgrade, Co. Laois: Upgrade works at Derryounce Lakes & Trails paths – €30,000
  • Outdoor Sensory Space, Lough Muckno Park, Co. Monaghan: Development of an outdoor sensory space adjacent to the existing playpark in Lough Muckno Park. – €30,000
  • Kilkee Cliff Walk, Co. Clare: Improvement works to Kilkee Cliff Walk – €27,000
  • Castleconnell Village Steps, Co. Leitrim: Installation of steps to provide safe access into the Shannon
  • Lusmagh Heritage Bog Walk, Co. Offaly: Enhancement works at Lusmagh Heritage Bog Walk – €26,460

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:

“With summer just a couple of months away, I’m really pleased to announce over €4.1 million to develop over 150 outdoor recreation projects right across Rural Ireland. The investment I’m announcing today will greatly enhance the natural amenities right on our doorstep – from our walkways, mountain trails and forest walks, to our cycleways, beaches and rivers. I believe the projects receiving funding today will play an important role in attracting more visitors to our rural towns and villages. So my big message as Minister today is to get out and explore those hidden gems in your community. The clocks are going forward this weekend – a perfect reason to go on that hike or cycle and enjoy the great outdoors.”

Minister Humphreys continued:

“The Government’s Rural Development policy, ‘Our Rural Future’ and the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy, ‘Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors’, have together set the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come. The health benefits from engaging in outdoor activity combined with the economic and social benefits that can be achieved by this investment for rural Ireland, will no doubt serve us well in to the future. That is why I am making this funding available today and I look forward to making further announcement for larger scale investment in this sector in the coming weeks.”

A full list of successful projects is available here .

The announcement today will also benefit local communities with new or enhanced outdoor facilities while also helping to support local economies by continuing to offer domestic and international visitors an attractive and exciting array of outdoor amenities.

This funding will be invested in 151 outdoor recreation projects, bringing the total number of projects funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, since its establishment in 2017, to almost 1,600 nationwide.

These projects, under Measure 1, are to receive funding of up to €30,000 and will be delivered by September 2025. Further announcements of successful projects under Measures 2 and 3 of ORIS 2023 will be made in the coming weeks.

The funding announced today is in addition to the €2.3m which was announced in November 2023 for 50 projects under the Project Development Measure of ORIS.

List of Successful Projects ORIS 2023 – Measure 1 is available here

The Department of Rural and Community Development was established to promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland.

Its focus is on strengthening community resilience and social cohesion, supporting communities so that they are empowered to face current and future challenges.

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 procurement, appropriate assessment etc. (up to €50,000 grant available)

Source: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/b330f-our-rural-future-minister-humphreys-announces-41-million-to-develop-and-upgrade-over-150-outdoor-recreation-projects/

Scroll to Top