Ballyhoura Trails is one of the projects to benefit
FUNDING of almost €175,000 for trails, walkways and cycleways in County Limerick has been announced this Monday.
The money has been allocated by Minister Heather Humphrey to ten projects in the county.
The projects to benefit are: Lough Gur €20,000, Doon €20,000, Knockfierna €20,000, Liskennett €6,588, Kilfinane €19,980, Ballyhoura Trails €19,980, Ballyhoura Cycling Trails €20,000, Ballyhoura Development Marketing Project €19,980, Broadford and Ashford €19,332, Ballyhahill €8,955.
Welcoming the news, Minister Patrick O’Donovan said: "Since this Government has been formed Minister Heather Humphreys has made several announcements of funding for communities across Limerick with projects like the Great Southern Greenway receiving very large amounts of money in the last few weeks.
“This time round it is smaller projects receiving money in projects all across the county. The applications here were made by Limerick City and County Council and the two LEADER Companies in the County, Ballyhoura Development and once the application was valid the Department of Community and Rural Development were able to make the application," said Minister O'Donovan.
Even though we are in the middle of a lockdown he said every week a different community group from somewhere in the county is meeting him on zoom to see how they can progress projects in their areas.
"I think that people are looking at what is happening in other parishes and asking themselves how they can improve their local places. In the last number of months communities across Limerick have seen a huge increase in the amount of people that are out walking and running.
"Lockdown including the 5km restrictions have shown some communities that now is a time to start putting plans in place for improvements in amenities for young and old alike in their area. I know that from speaking to some that they want to start developing their strategies and to be ready for the future rounds of funding. Based on the last number of months I would safely say that there will be a significant amount of applications for grant schemes like this in the time ahead," said Minister O'Donovan.
Minister Niall Collins said he was delighted to see investment being allocated to numerous outdoor activities across County Limerick that will improve and promote trails, walkways and cycleways, that will benefit local communities.
"We have seen over the past year how important outdoor recreation has been for both our physical and mental wellbeing. It’s great to see local communities embrace their surroundings in keeping fit and active.
“Overall Limerick will receive €175,000 in investment with funding split amongst the following areas: Lough Gur, Kilmoylan Nature Walk, Knockfierna Famine Memorial Trail Walks, Liskennett Forest Trails, Ponna Nature Walk, Ballyhoura Trails, Ballyhoura Cycling Trails, Ballyhoura Region, Mullaghareirk Walking Trails, and Abha Bhan River Walk.
“The funding announced today will develop and enhance these facilities further, increasing their appeal amongst local communities and to future visitors to the areas once the Covid-19 restrictions lift,” said Minister Collins.
Welcoming the funding, Mayor of Limerick city and county, Cllr Michael Collins said the last year has shown more than ever the importance of outdoor amenities for our physical and mental wellbeing.
"There has been a sizable increase in the number of people using our walking trails, cycleways, parks and other resources to exercise and keep fit, while respecting the guidelines on social distancing during the Covid-19 crisis.
"I’m delighted to see that the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will fund these projects in Limerick with a particular focus on rural areas. These facilities will be vital to sustain these communities and encourage visitors to County Limerick into the future. I would also like to thank Failte Ireland for their support in co-funding this scheme," said Mayor Collins.
Padraig Malone, Administrative Officer Urban and Rural Community Development, Limerick City and County Council said the funding will be a huge support to the projects involved:
"The successful projects and further investment in trails will be of huge benefit to communities right across the county. The trail enhancements will boost economic and tourism potential in the countryside and facilitate recreational activities while at the same time promote a healthy active lifestyle," said Mr Malone.