17 May 2022

Trails, swimming areas, woodwalks - funding boost for Kilkenny outdoor infrastructure

Local TD John Paul Phelan says it will support economic and tourism potential of Kilkenny


Silaire Wood Boardwalk. Picture: Jim Whelan

Funding of €187,625 has been awarded for the development of outdoor recreational infrastructure across Kilkenny.

Under the Department of Rural and Community Development’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, the funding will help develop resources that contribute to healthy active lifestyles. 

The Kilkenny projects to receive funding are:

·         €19,800 to Trail Kilkenny and local community groups for the establishment of a countywide network of community walks. This application includes four proposed routes ranging from 2kms to 5kms in length in the villages of Johnstown, Stoneyford and Skeoughvasteen.

·         €19,125 to Kells Region Economic Enterprise Ltd for the rehabilitation of a 200m section  of walking trail along  the King’s River and repairs to the pedestrian bridge over the river which connects the walk to the Kells Augustine Priory.

·         €19,800 to Trail Kilkenny and Coillte for the Tory Hill Looped Walk Enhancement Works. Sections of the trail have deteriorated and are in need of significant rehabilitation, particularly along the approaches to the summit. The proposal also includes for the supply and installation of interpretative signage to give an enhanced visitor experience by providing walkers with a better understanding of the surrounding landscape.

·         €19,350 to Kilkenny Water Safety for enhancements to the traditional open water swimming area located in the Nore Valley Park in Kilkenny City. Improvements include facilities for smarter travel, enhanced amenity space and the installation of interpretative signage

·         €13,500 to Trail Kilkenny, Coillte and Kilkenny Tourism  for the further development and continuation of the promotion and marketing campaign for Woodstock Estate.

·         €18,000 to Kilkenny Tourism, LEO, Trail Kilkenny and outdoor activity providers in the county for the continuation/ development of the promotion and marketing campaign for ‘Outdoor Kilkenny’, a new brand and website that promotes all outdoor attractions that Kilkenny has to offer

·         €19,800 to Trail Kilkenny and Kilkenny Tourism to extend the existing walking trail at Silaire Wood by 500m, giving a total trail length of 1.5km. This will make this section of the walk available for use all year round and more accessible for all users.

·         €19,350 to Mountain Grove Community Group to upgrade and strengthening of a 300m section of the trail surface along the bank of the stream, which becomes impassable in winter.

·         €20,000 to Kilkenny Leader to upgrade and strengthening of a 300m section of the trail surface on the South Leinster Way at Mullinavat, to include improvement works at the trail entrance from the local road, stock proofing fencing and drainage works.

·         €18,900 to Kilkenny Leader for the Installation of built heritage and habitat interpretation boards along 22km route of the Nore Valley Walk, Kilkenny’s most popular trail. This is aimed at enhancing the visitor experience. The locations are along a 10 km route between Kilkenny and Bennettsbridge and 12km route between Thomastown and Inistioge.

Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has welcomed the funding and says the infrastructural improvements will support the economic and tourism potential of Kilkenny for both local communities and tourist visitors alike, further enhancing unique natural amenities and supporting rural Ireland as a destination for adventure tourism.

“This funding supports projects that are, in the main, freely available to the public and there is also an emphasis on recreational facilities that promote inclusivity. It is welcome investment in the physical infrastructure that underpins sporting and recreational activities based on the use of the resources of the countryside will bring widespread benefits to Kilkenny, positioning rural areas to respond to the post-Covid-19 economic environment," he said.

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