A new €15m fund has been launched by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, that will support dozens of outdoor adventure projects across the country.
The 2022 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will see the development of natural amenities such as our mountains, lakes, beaches, bogs, walkways, greenways and blueways.
Local TD and Minister of State Frank Feighan is asking local organisations and tourism groups to consider this fund within their community and to consult directly with their local authority with their ideas or proposals:
“Across the North West including Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, and Donegal there is a huge focus on outdoor adventure activities which is driven by tourism opportunities, it is vital that this infrastructure is developed and
enhanced as we strive to improve our facilities.
“I understand that the projects that will be supported under ORIS are designed to benefit the health and wellbeing of the communities in which they are located, as Minister with responsibility in this area I welcome this initiative from Government, any project that encourages people to engage in active and robust physical exercise is an important factor in improving fitness and reducing the risk of long-term illness”, concluded Minister Feighan.
The Scheme, which saw its funding increased by Minister Humphreys as part of the Budget, will place a particular focus on developing adventure tourism in Rural Ireland. It will support activities such as hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, swimming and cycling, which were especially popular among families throughout the Pandemic.
The announcement builds on the commitment under “Our Rural Future” to continuing the investment in infrastructure that caters for the growth in both local and international outdoor adventure tourism.
Launching the 2022 scheme Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the 2022 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. To date, the Scheme has provided funding of over €87 million for more than 1,200 projects nationwide.
“The facilities and amenities funded under this Scheme represent a tremendous long-term asset for rural communities and visitors alike and are clear examples of the impact that “Our Rural Future” is having across Ireland. “That’s why I have allocated €15 million to the Scheme as part of the biggest ever financial support package for Rural Ireland which I secured in Budget 2022.”
The 2022 scheme will provide investment ranging from €30,000 for small scale projects and up to €500,000 for large scale projects. This is an alteration on last year’s scheme, which provided funding ranging from €20,000 instead of €30,000.
The Scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and projects applications will be accepted under the following Measures:
Measure 1 for small scale projects requiring funding of up to €30,000,
Measure 2 for medium scale projects with funding of up to €200,000,
Measure 3 for large scale projects seeking funding of up to €500,000, and
Project Development Measure funding of up to €50,000 for development costs for
strategic large scale projects.