Funding of €15 million for outdoor activities launched to boost rural tourism

A €15 million funding scheme to promote outdoor adventure activities was launched by the government on Friday.

Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys said increased funding for the outdoor recreation and infrastructure program is expected to provide a “major boost” to rural tourism.

Municipal and county councils, public bodies and local development agencies can apply for the fund to develop activities on mountains, lakes, beaches, bogs, forest walks and greenways.

Land-based projects covered by the funding include hiking, mountaineering, equestrian trails, cycling and rock climbing.

Eligible water and air projects include kayaking, swimming, tidal pools, surfing, paragliding and hang gliding.

Small-scale projects can receive €30,000, medium-sized projects will be eligible for €200,000 and €500,000 is available for larger projects.

Funding for the program was increased as part of this year’s budget. The program is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.

“I am delighted to announce the launch of the 2022 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Program,” said Minister Humphreys. “To date, the program has provided funding of over €87 million for over 1,200 projects nationwide.”

The Minister said that during the pandemic, outdoor activities and pursuits have become more important than ever. “I urge applicants to be bold and ambitious in their proposals – so that we can continue to further develop adventure tourism for the benefit of our citizens,” she said.

Tourism Minister Catherine Martin said increasing the number of outdoor adventure activities available to domestic and international tourists will play an important role in post-pandemic tourism recovery.

“The range of projects funded across Ireland under this program to date is excellent and supports Ireland’s ambition to be a renowned year-round destination for active tourism,” it said. she declared.

Full details are available here.

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