24 January 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D., recently announced almost €3.2 million in funding for 173 projects across Ireland under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. A total of €250,636.20 is ringfenced for County Cork of which €138,000 has been awarded to Cork County Council for a range of projects.
The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme supports the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways and has provided funding for the development of new amenities and the enhancement of existing facilities since 2016. This year’s total funding was increased by 20% on 2020.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, welcomed the announcement saying,
“In this past year we’ve all come to recognise the value of the outdoors for maintaining our physical and mental health. We’re especially fortunate in County Cork, with a great deal of natural beauty, resources and amenities available to us. Last year saw a marked increase in the use of walking trails, cycleways and all our outdoor amenities across the county, where people could safely exercise while observing social distancing regulations. Cork County Council has been working for many years to maximise the potential of our natural resources and improve our outdoor amenities and this funding is very welcome in helping the Council continue to build on this work. It is great news for our county, for locals and visitors alike.”
Cork County Council successfully secured the maximum funding available through the scheme to support the development or upgrade of the following seven projects; Walking Trail at Camden Fort in Crosshaven, trails and water access at White Bay in East Cork, entranceway and marketing of Moanbaun Woods in North Cork, a carpark and picnic area for Mount Hillary North Cork, repairs to the Cliff Walk at The Warren, Rosscarberry, West Cork, redevelopment of walks, a sensory path and improved disability access to Island Wood in Newmarket and improvement works on Belgooly Walkway in West Cork.
Mayor Linehan added,
“The scenic harbour beach of White Bay is a great recreational and tourism asset and the trail upgrade will improve on the amenity with the addition of a rest area with picnic amenities to enjoy harbour views across to Crosshaven & Camden Fort Meagher. Camden Fort Meagher as one of the most important historical, recreational and tourism assets we have in the county will benefit from the creation of a looped walk connection and a rest and picnic area with some of the best harbour views available in Cork. These are just two samples of the projects that will be progressed by Cork County Council with the help of this funding.”
In addition to the €138,000 allocated to the Local Authority an additional €112,636.20 was allocated to community groups for works to trails in other areas of County Cork.