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€100,000 in Outdoor Recreation Funding Announced for Waterford

On Tuesday, November 21st, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys announced funding of almost €2.3 million nationally to support the development of 50 outdoor adventure projects across Ireland.

The investment under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will be key to enhancing outdoor amenities such as our walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

As part of this announcement two Waterford projects received a very welcome funding boost; Blackwater River Valley Outdoor Recreation Plan and Comeragh Mountains Outdoor Recreation Management Plan.

The Project Development Measures will fund the preparatory work required to bring large scale outdoor recreation projects to a shovel-ready stage.

Each project will receive €50,000 in funding under this round of ORIS funding with a minimum of a further 10% in funding being contributed by Waterford City and County Council. It is envisaged that the projects will be implemented in 2024.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed the funding announcement saying, “This funding announcement is significant for Waterford, as it will drive the impetus to bring these two large-scale projects to fruition.

“Waterford’s successful projects are located within two areas of outstanding scenic beauty namely the Blackwater River Valley and the Comeragh Mountains, and the development of these high quality recreation opportunities will only serve to enhance the areas and the communities within.”

Blackwater River Valley Outdoor Recreation entails the design of improved river access points to facilitate water-based activities at Ballyduff Upper and Lismore to include developing designs to planning stage, environmental assessments and submission of the resultant planning application. This work will build on a feasibility which was undertaken in 2022 to look at the potential of the Blackwater River Valley for Blueway, water trail and related land based outdoor recreation opportunities. It will also greatly add to ongoing projects in both Cappoquin and Villierstown seeking to enhance access to the River Blackwater for recreation.

Comeragh Mountains Outdoor Recreation Management Plan will see the development and management of high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities in the Comeragh Mountains focusing on core environmental, conservation, landscape, and socio-economic factors.

Widespread stakeholder and community engagement are planned as part of the preparation of this plan which will be consistent with objectives contained within the Waterford City and County Development Plan 2022 to 2028.

Similar to the River Blackwater project, the process of preparing the plan will very much consider the unique characteristics of this wonderful upland landscape.

The Rural Economic Development team in Waterford City and County Council looks forward to working with the local communities on these exciting projects in 2024.


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