Dave Byrne, Cóilín Ó' Drisceoill and Dan Lenehan during the Moat Field phase 1 path construction in Callan. PICTURE: HARRY REID
Grants of €393,500 have been announced for two major outdoor amenities in south Kilkenny.
The second phase of the Moat Field nature and heritage trail in Callan is to receive €193,500 and the Woodstock Estate Trail development will receive €200,000.
Funds have been awarded under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, from the Department of Rural and Community Development, in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. Projects will support enhanced interest in outdoor pursuits post Covid.
The Woodstock Estate Trail project involves the upgrade and restoration of 2.7km of the original Victorian estate paths, opening up access from Woodstock House Gardens and Arboretum to the Brownsford Stream Waterfall.
In Callan, Loop 2 of the Moat Field Nature and Heritage Trail within Westcourt Demesne is the second and final phase of the trail, which encompasses two fields, an area of 7.61ha., on the banks of the
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “The value we place on our outdoor amenities, and the contribution which they make to our physical and mental wellbeing, has never been more appreciated than during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“We can also expect our outdoor recreation facilities to play an important part in supporting Ireland’s social and economic recovery as restrictions on movements are relaxed and the tourism sector re-opens.
“That’s why I’m delighted to support the continued development and enhancement of our outdoor recreation infrastructure through this €6.5 million investment. In total, 38 projects across the country will benefit. This brings the total investment this year alone under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme to €9.7 million. These facilities will make such a difference to communities and will also have a hugely positive impact on tourism.
Chairman of Kilkenny County Council, Andrew McGuinness said: “This is very positive news for Kilkenny as it will help to enhance two fantastic outdoor amenities, bringing both projects to a new level. We have all seen how important our outdoor amenities are during lockdowns. They are vital for our mental and physical well being and so this funding is, in my view, an important investment that we will all benefit from.”
“When we eventually get out of this pandemic and begin to welcome tourists back into Kilkenny, these amenities will be also be an attraction and will help generate revenue for local communities. Attracting tourists that visit the city into county towns and villages like Callan and Inistioge is hugely important for our own economic growth as a county too, so this funding is very much welcome,” he said.