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.
Major Funding for Rural Recreation Projects in County Sligo
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.’
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
|Bunduff River Walk||Sligo/Leitrim border||€5,000|
|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|