John Paul Phelan
JUNIOR Minister, John Paul Phelan, TD, is urging clubs and organisations across Kilkenny to apply for funding under the €10 million Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The funding is one element of a €30 million package of co-ordinated and complementary supports which the Government launched over the past week as part of the Rural Development Investment Programme which is funded under Project Ireland 2040.
The other elements of the package announced were the €15 million Town and Village Renewal Scheme and the €5 million CLÁR Programme. Each scheme will play its role in the social and economic recovery of rural communities over the coming months, following the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development of new and existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas. The Scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
“The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has been crucial to the development of the recreation facilities enjoyed by growing numbers of locals and tourists in rural areas in recent years. These facilities are now more important than ever in light of the COVID–19 emergency.
“The COVID situation has given people a renewed appreciation of the benefit of the outdoors to their wellbeing. More than ever, they value the outdoor recreation infrastructure in their local areas,” Minister Phelan continued.
The walking trails, cycleways, mountain access routes and other facilities that the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme supports provide vital opportunities for people in rural areas to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment, Minister Phelan said.
The 2020 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will provide funding under 3 separate measures. Measure 1 is for small scale repair/promotion and marketing (grant up to €20,000). Measure 2 covers medium scale repair/upgrade and new Trail/Amenity Development (grant up to €200,000). Measure 3: Large scale Repair/upgrade and new Strategic Trail/Amenity Development (grant up to €500,000).
Project applications are submitted via the Local Authorities under all measures. Funding will be provided to a maximum of 90% of total project costs. This increased funding level has been introduced in recognition of the difficulty in raising match funding due to the impact of COVID–19.