I am urging Galway East community and leisure groups to apply for funding under the €10 million Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme which has been launched today.
The scheme is part of a €30 million package of funding supports for Rural Ireland announced by my department, the Department of Rural and Community Development, this week.
CLÁR funding of €5 million for areas of population decline and Town and Village Renewal Scheme funding of €15 million were announced earlier this week.
The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has provided vital support for projects all around the Galway East constituency.
Over the last two years, the Loughrea Walks project has received €200,000 in two allocations, the Lackagh/Knockdoemore Walking Trail and two walking trails at Clarinbridge have each received nearly €200,000, while the Hymany Way at Portumna received €100,000.
Other recipients to benefit have included the Gort River Walks Development Group and Gort TidyTowns, Corofin Community Development Association and the Sliabh Aughty Walking Trail.
The last two years of the scheme have seen allocations for Galway East in excess of €748,000. “Support for walking trails, cycleways and other outdoor recreational facilities is even more important in light of the COVID-19 emergency. They not only provide a healthy form of exercise but they also attract economic activity, which will be critical as the country reopens post the coronavirus.
I would strongly encourage communities looking to enhance their outdoor recreational amenities to apply.
My ministerial colleague, Minister Michael Ring, has decided to increase the funding rate that will apply to projects approved under the scheme this year from 80% to a maximum of 90%.
This should ensure that the requirement on communities and other applicants to source match funding is kept to a minimum.
The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
Funding is delivered through local authorities, state agencies and other relevant bodies.