Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD has launched a €15 million fund to support outdoor adventure projects across the country.
2022 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme
According to a statement published on gov.ie, the 2022 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will allow the development of natural amenities such as mountains, lakes, beaches, bogs, walkways, greenways and blueways, and will place a particular focus on developing adventure tourism in rural Ireland.
The scheme will support activities such as hiking, mountaineering, kayaking, swimming and cycling, and the projects that will be supported under the scheme are designed to benefit the health and wellbeing of the communities in which they are located, according to the statement published on gov.ie.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
The scheme provides funding for the development of new and existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas, and funds trails, cycleways, blueways, bridleways, and outdoor amenities located near rivers, lakes and beaches, and the 2022 scheme will provide investment ranging from €30,000 for small scale projects and up to €500,000 for large scale projects, which is an alteration on last year’s scheme, which provided funding ranging from €20,000 instead of €30,000, according to the statement published on gov.ie, which also said that the scheme is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, and that 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.
Statement By Minister Humphreys
The statement published on gov.ie included a statement from Minister Humphreys, in which she 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."
Minister Humphreys continued, "Over the past two years we have all become even more aware of the importance of outdoor pursuits and activities. Today's announcement means that we will continue to invest in our natural amenities so even more people can enjoy the benefits. So, I'm urging applicants to be bold and ambitious with their proposals - so that we can continue to further develop adventure tourism to the benefit of our citizens. I want to acknowledge the support of our partners, Fáilte Ireland, who have once again come on board to contribute to the funding of successful projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme."
Statement By Minister For Tourism
The statement published on gov.ie also included a statement from Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD, in which she said, "I welcome the continued partnership between Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development on the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. Opening up the outdoors for cycling, hiking, walking and other pursuits for domestic and international visitors will play an important role in tourism recovery. The range of projects funded throughout Ireland under this scheme to date are excellent and support Ireland's ambition to be a renowned year round destination for activity tourism. I encourage all eligible applicants to apply for the 2022 opportunities with this scheme and look forward to seeing further development in outdoor recreation infrastructure in the years ahead."
Statement By Head of Product Development - Activities At Fáilte Ireland
The statement published on gov.ie included a statement from Head of Product Development - Activities at Fáilte Ireland Fiona Monaghan as well, in which she said, "The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for critical infrastructure that allows domestic and international visitors to explore the great Irish outdoors. This scheme promotes sustainable development right across the country as funding is available for every county. Universal accessibility is a key goal along with the protection, appreciation and enjoyment of biodiversity and our stunning natural landscape. Fáilte Ireland looks forward to working closely with the Department of Rural and Community Development to implement the scheme for 2022 and further develop our outdoors."
© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.