The planned biodiversity park at Dunmore
Almost €1 million in funding has just been announced for a number of major outdoor infrastructure projects in Kilkenny.
The investment announced by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will see the development nationally of 66 natural amenities and support outdoor pursuits such as hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, swimming and cycling.
For the first time under the scheme, funding is also being provided to progress 18 outdoor recreational projects that are at an early stage of development.
The biggest beneficiary in Kilkenny is the plan for 'Kilkenny Countryside Park - Cycle Swim Play Stay, from the City to the Park'. Almost half a million euro is to be made available for the enhancement of amenities on the North Kilkenny Cycle-trail – Trailhead, The Parade, The Weir, River Nore swimming area, Bleach Road and the Countryside Park - on the site of the old Dunmore Municipal Landfill.
The other local projects to benefit are: Castlecomer Discovery Park Masterplan (€50,000), Woodstock Estate - accessible trails, age friendly and disabled parking and wheelchair swing (€189,000), and rehabilitation of the Ardra Looped Walk and Arboretum Walk – Castlecomer Discovery Park (€196,000).
Minister of State Malcolm Noonan has welcomed the funding announcement.
"This is a welcome investment in outdoor recreation, cycling and walking for Kilkenny and Carlow, highlighting this Government's commitment towards sustainable, healthy communities," he said.
"Our outdoor spaces have been a lifeline throughout the course of this pandemic and local authorities are responding showing ambition and leadership in making more use of this important funding stream."
Local TD John Paul Phelan said the investment will support rural economies and make rural Ireland a more attractive destination for adventure tourism.
“The projects in Kilkenny and Carlow that we are investing in today will benefit people of all ages and abilities for generations to come," he said.
“This unprecedented investment will also help further our ambition to support our rural economies and make rural Ireland a destination of choice for adventure tourism. Outdoor pursuits have become an even bigger part of all of our lives over the past two years. Through this Fund, we are developing and enhancing the fantastic natural amenities in our rural communities so more and more people can access and enjoy them.”
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