Outdoor tourist project for Graignamanagh

AN outdoor activity facility is being planned for Graignamanagh in the hope of attracting tourists to the region and giving locals something to enjoy as well.

AN outdoor activity facility is being planned for Graignamanagh in the hope of attracting tourists to the region and giving locals something to enjoy as well.

This proposed Graignamanagh Outdoor Hub Project was discussed at a recent meeting of county councillors in the Thomastown electoral area, where members expressed their support for the initiative which is being guided by Kilkenny Leader Partnership.

"Kilkenny Leader Partnership believes that the Graignamanagh area can become a centre for outdoor tourism for the region," according to a council report on the subject.

"Kilkenny Leader Partnership proposes to lead the development of a number of outdoor activity incentives as an integrated project, sited on the former 'pitch and putt' site in the centre of the town which has been owned by Kilkenny County Council for several years."

It is intended to have split use of the facilities between the wider Graignamanagh community, students from second-level schools in the region and commercial tourism operators. The priority on usage will be agreed on a seasonal and weekday/weekend basis.

Plans for the project include an Astroturf pitch for use by the community and the adjacent college; a high-ropes course, mixed-use buildings on the site for use as training/ activity functions and a two-way zip wire across the River Barrow.

"This latter element would be the longest in the country and Kilkenny Leader Partnership believes that the combination of all the elements will meet the expressed needs of the community and school while building on the specific tourism potential of the town," according to the council report.

The cost of the project is estimated at f782,000, and Kilkenny Leader Partnership says it can currently fund up to 75% of the project costs.

Also, according to the report, "there are some indications that they may be permitted to approve higher rates of grant aid in the future."

"Significant local funding will be necessary from the various community interests but in their absence at present, Kilkenny Leader Partnership is asking that the local authority support the project at a sum of f195,500. It may work out at less than this."