Major Funding for Rural Recreation Projects in County Sligo

Major Funding for Rural Recreation Projects in County Sligo Damien McGuinn, Coolaney Development Company; Martin Ruane - Coillte; Councillor Seamus Kilgannon - Cathaoirleach; Ray O’Grady - Sligo County Council; Bryan Conlon - North West Mountain Bike Club;

Almost one million euro in funding has been announced for out-door recreation facilities in County Sligo, including a grant of €840,285 for Coolaney National Mountain Biking Centre.

The funding was announced by Michael Ring, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, with over €11 million in funding being provided nationally for projects under Measures 1 and 3 of the 2017 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Sixteen projects in County Sligo are included in the funding package, with the Coolaney Centre qualifying under Measure 3 of the Grant Scheme ‘National/Regional large Scale Strategic Projects.’ The other Sligo projects received funding ranging from €5,000 to 10,000 under Measure 1, ‘Small Scale Maintenance/Promotional material.’

 

Major Boost

Welcoming the announcement, the Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Seamus Kilgannon said 

‘This significant investment in our recreation infrastructure represents a major boost to the dedicated community groups around our county working so hard to develop our out-door facilities and enhance our tourist product. The funding for Coolaney National Mountain Bike Trail will facilitate the development of this amenity, and will provide for its connectivity with other major initiatives, including the Wild Atlantic Way, Eurovelo Route 1 and the Sligo Way walking route. We can also plan for the development of a cycle route between Sligo and Coolaney, which will further grow our reputation as a popular tourist destination.’

 

Enhancement of Facilities

The Mayor of Sligo Municipal District Councillor Hubert Keaney outlined the background to the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

‘This Scheme is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure and the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in Ireland. I think it is great news for County Sligo that we managed to attract almost one million euro in funding, and I would like to pay tribute to Director of Services Dorothy Clarke and the Council staff who prepared the detailed funding submission, Michael Carty and Ray O’Grady.‘

Sligo County Council’s partners in the Coolaney National Mountain Biking Centre include Coillte, Coolaney Development Company and Fáilte Ireland, and the role played by the local community at every stage of the process was a major factor in attracting funding for the project.

 

Minister Ring’s Statement

Recreational tourism is a growing sector in Ireland's tourism offering, and we have seen an increase in the number of Irish and overseas visitors enjoying the many greenways, blueways and walking trails which have been developed around the country in recent years.

I am delighted to announce funding of €11.4 million to 219 projects that encapsulate the diversity of work that is ongoing across the country to provide high quality recreational infrastructure for visitors and locals alike. 

The projects which I am approving today range from innovative mountain bike trails in Offaly and Sligo, to two  iconic Way-Marked Ways in Cork and Mayo.

The funding also includes support for Coillte to maintain the many wonderful walks and trails through woodlands and forests across Ireland. In addition funding will support the extension of the Shannon Erne Blueway in Leitrim and Cavan, reinforcing the role of our inland waterways as a recreational resource of significant tourism potential."

"Local Authorities, State Agencies and communities have spent significant time and effort developing the project proposals over the last number of months and I am very happy to be able to provide the financial resources necessary to their own health and fitness and enjoy the countryside with their families.  I hope to make further announcements under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in the Autumn". 

 

Funding for Sligo Projects

Measure 3: National/regional Large Scale Strategic Projects

Coolaney National Mountain Biking Centre  - Funding    €840,285 

Measure 1: Small Scale Maintenance Promotional Material

Funding for County Sligo Projects:
ProjectLocationFunding
Bunduff River Walk Sligo/Leitrim border €5,000
Sligo Way Coolaney €10,000
Tormore recreational Trail/Sruth in Aghaidh Glencar €7,200
Duneill Walking Trail Dromore West €8,750
Carrowkeel Walking Trail Castlebaldwin €8,800
Ballintrillick Loop Trail Ballintrillick €5,000
Drumcliff Giants Grave River Trail Drumcliffe €9,240
Mullaghmore Head Loop Mullaghmore €8,000
Benbulben Forest Trail Cashelgarron €10,000
Killaspugbrone Walking Trail Killaspugbrone €8,000
Queen Maeve Trail Strandhill €10,000
Rathscanlon Recreational Trail Tubbercurry €10,000
Rosses Point Coastal Trail Rosses Point €10,000
Raghly Head Coastal Loop Trail Lissadell €10,000
Sligo Way Collooney €10,000