€526,000 Funding Received for Outdoor Recreation Projects in County Sligo

€526,000 Funding Received for Outdoor Recreation Projects in County Sligo

Over €500,000 in funding has been allocated to outdoor recreation projects in Sligo as part of a €16.1 million national investment announced today.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced a significant investment of €16.1 million in outdoor recreation projects across the country. Among the projects set to benefit from this funding are three exciting initiatives in County Sligo, which have been allocated a total of €526,000. These projects aim to enhance outdoor facilities, boost tourism, and provide local communities with attractive recreational spaces.

The Tubbercurry Forest Trail, a popular recreational area, will receive €200,000 for various enhancements. The improvements include trail realignment, an extension of the car park, resurfacing, a new trail entrance, trail furniture, a sensory/mobility garden, and associated works. These upgrades will ensure a more enjoyable and accessible experience for visitors to Tubbercurry Forest.

Another €200,000 has been allocated for the rehabilitation of approximately 1.8km of the upland Sligo Way long-distance walking trail. This section, located on the Ballygawley Mountains between Union Wood and Slish Wood at Castledargan, will undergo necessary improvements to enhance the trail's safety and overall condition for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Furthermore, a sum of €126,000 has been dedicated to the development of the Ray Flynn Way, a new scenic trail that will provide access to a Lough Colga picnic facility. This project will also involve enhancing an existing lay-by to create a trailhead, ensuring convenient and enjoyable experiences for visitors to Ballure.

Cllr Gerard Mullaney, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, expressed his enthusiasm for the funding announcement, stating,

"We are delighted to receive this significant investment in outdoor recreation projects in County Sligo. These initiatives will not only enhance our natural landscapes but also provide valuable opportunities for our local communities to enjoy outdoor activities and for visitors to explore our beautiful county."

The funding will not only benefit local communities by providing new or enhanced outdoor facilities but will also contribute to the support of local economies. With these investments, County Sligo will continue to offer both domestic and international visitors an attractive and exciting array of outdoor amenities.

This funding forms part of the Department of Rural and Community Development's commitment to investing in outdoor recreation projects. Since its establishment in 2017, the Department has funded over 1,650 projects nationwide, bringing the total investment to date to a remarkable scale. These 69 larger scale outdoor recreation projects in County Sligo are expected to be completed by July 2026.

Today's announcement follows the previous allocation of €2.3 million in November 2023 for 50 projects under the Project Development Measure of ORIS, as well as the approval of €4.1 million under measure one earlier this year.

In announcing the huge investment in outdoor projects The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said:

“Our beautiful outdoors have never been more available to us than today. With the summer months upon us, now is the time to enjoy the wonderful amentities right on our doorstep.”

“This investment from my Department brings the overall allocation under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) to over €129 million since the Scheme was first launched in 2016.

“It is testament to the positive impact ‘Our Rural Future’ continues to have on communities all over Ireland and Government’s commitment to that policy."

Minister Humphreys concluded by reiterating her commitment to supporting outdoor recreation:

“These excellent projects will add to Ireland’s now large pool of world class amenities and will help to achieve the goals of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy – Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors."