This represents the largest individual allocation to any project in Ireland in the current round of Rural Recreation funding approvals.
Announcing the news Mr. James Fogarty commented that this key infrastructure project is a huge success for the development of local amenities in Mallow. It represents the first of many potential partnership opportunities between Cork County Council and Avondhu Blackwater under the umbrella of the Local and Community Development Committee. We can now look forward to significant further funding being made available to the North Cork Region with the roll out of the new LEADER programme 2014-2020.
Minister Ring said: “Investment in recreational facilities has a proven effect in boosting local economies and assisting in the creation and retention of employment in the hospitality, tourism and services sectors in rural Ireland.”
Ms. Valerie Murphy CEO Avondhu Blackwater added, This project is key to our overall strategic investment in walking and rural recreation in North Cork. The provision of significant recreation infrastructure within Mallow town will benefit local residents and visitors alike.
Congratulating Cork County Council and Avondhu Blackwater, Cllr John Paul O’ Shea remarked that this allocation represents the culmination of a long history of investment and promotion of walking. The current project is wonderful news for Mallow and represents the first major investment in Mallow Town Park under the ownership of Cork County Council, linking the East and West of the town, while also providing a connection to Mallow Castle.
Figures available from Fáilte Ireland reveal that in 2014, close to 1.2million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross country walking. These activity tourists spent in the region of €915 million in the Irish economy during their stay. Similar statistics reveal that 286,000 visitors took part in cycling activities with a related spend of some €268 million. These two sectors combined generated revenue for the Irish economy in the region of €1.2 billion in 2014.
In total 75 projects are being funded in this first round of allocations under the 2016 Rural Recreation Scheme.
These projects cover a broad spectrum, and range from Walking Trails to Greenways and feature a number of water based initiatives covering Blueways and Angling activities. The projects cover a wide geographical area, with 20 counties receiving funding for both development and maintenance works in this round.