Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., has today (22nd March 2021) announced over €6 million for 14 large-scale projects under Measure 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The investment involves a significant development of many of our most popular outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways. Today’s funding will benefit 14 projects with investments of up to €500,000 each. It is in addition to the €9.7 million approved for 212 small and medium projects earlier this year, and is being funded in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Senator Aisling Dolan welcomed this fund
‘This is a fantastic investment here of half a million euro for Mote Forest Park to develop trails, 13.5 metre vertical walkway viewing tower, parking as well as a cycling loop to link to the Beara Breifne Way at Athleague & Castlestrange onto Roscommon town. This builds on last week’s announcement of €9.2 million for Roscommon town under the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF). It shows governments commitment to balanced regional development under Project Ireland 2040’
Mote Forest Park is close to Roscommon town and covers 650 acres of Coillte woodland, it dates back to the Iron Age and in more recent history as the Crofton Estate. Inland Waterways, National Park and Wildlife Service all work together with the Local Authority to develop this amenity. People can join the Mote Park Heritage Walk from the town-centre through Derrydonnell Wood and onto Mote Forest Park. There are trails for all ages and abilities of 11kms, 2.5kms and 1.5kms.
The Fine Gael Senator for Roscommon-Galway noted
‘We have access to incredible parks in Roscommon, Mote Forest Park is a place where we can explore nature, wildlife and it’s also our legacy to protect for the future.
‘This funding will mean more access through trails and cycle routes for our local communities as well as visitors to explore Mote Forest Park as well as an innovative viewing tower at 13.5 metres which will give stunning panoramic views of the area. There are so many walking and cycling adventures waiting for us when we are in safer times and when we can move beyond our 5km limit. For right now, we can travel from the couch with the Mote Park Interactive Heritage Tour on their YouTube channel.
We will also see a cycling loop to link in with the Beara Breifne Way which goes from Dursey Island in Cork to Blacklion in Co. Cavan – 700 kilometres. The Suck Valley Way and the Lung Lough Gara Way are the parts of the Beara Breifne going through Roscommon. It also ties in with government investment in the Shannon Masterplan and Hidden Heartlands initiative to increase tourism in the West.
‘Measure 3 is the largest fund under the Outdoor Infrastructure programme and Roscommon County Council achieved the maximum funding of €500,000. The regeneration team in our Local Authority deserves enormous credit with a quality application that scored the highest points as well as working with the volunteers on the Mote Park Conservation Group. I would also like to thank Minister Heather Humphreys for her support of development projects in the West.’
Minister Humphreys stated
‘Today’s allocation brings the total investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme since the start of this year to €15.7 million, with 226 projects being funded. This investment is making a significant contribution to supporting healthy, active lifestyles while also building upon the economic and tourism potential of rural areas. All counties that applied for funding have benefited from investment under the scheme this year, across the three funding announcements which I have made since January. Once again, I want to acknowledge the support of my Cabinet Colleague, Minister Catherine Martin, and our partners, Fáilte Ireland, who are contributing to the funding of successful projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.”