The Great Southern Greenway is to be renamed the Limerick Greenway | PICTURE: Marie Keating (taken pre-Covid)
THE Great Southern Greenway is to be renamed as the Limerick Greenway ahead of its reopening this summer.
Details of the change were confirmed in an update which was delivered to members of Limerick City and County Council at a virtual meeting earlier this week.
The council has also announced the appointment of consultants to lead a new marketing and promotion campaign around the opening of the Greenway once upgrade works are completed.
Springboard and Totem have been tasked with devising a suite of promotional material for the upgraded greenway and will assist the Council on stepping up marketing and promotion ahead of its official opening.
With the hospitality and tourism sectors badly affected by the pandemic, the local authority has also announced that a Greenway Destination Development Programme will be undertaken in 2021 in partnership with West Limerick Resources.
"This will be a capacity-building programme to support communities and businesses situated along the route of the greenway in Limerick and North Kerry to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by the investment in the project. “Once completed this year, the upgraded greenway will be an important new tourism product for both Limerick and the wider region,” said Gordon Daly, Director of Services for Community Development, Limerick City and County Council.
Kerry County Council has indicated that the section of the Greenway within its functional area will also be renamed as either the Kerry or North Kerry Greenway.
Works to upgrade the Greenway - between Rathlkeale and Abbeyfeale - is temporarily stopped due to the shutdown of all non-essential construction arising from Covid-19.
The multimillion euro contract, awarded to Roadbridge in June 2020, involves the upgrade of the entire 40 kilometres of the greenway to a three-metre wide macadam surface; bringing the route to the highest national standard.
“Completing the upgrade of the greenway by summer 2021 remains the target but this is going to be a challenge based on current Covid-19 related stoppages,” Mr Daly acknowledged.
However, he added that there is significant potential of the Limerick Greenway as a tourism product and that they council is planning a campaign to officially launch it later in the year.”
At the end of December 2020, a 9km section of the greenway between Rathkeale and Ardagh was opened for local use and the next section to be completed will be between Ardagh Newcastle West.
The local authority has also confirmed it will open a greenway carpark at the old Ardagh Stationhouse site during the summer as soon as it completes stabilisation works on the building, which was acquired last year.
Members of the public are being reminded of the current public health guidelines which mean only those living within 5km of the Greenway should use it.