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Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2023

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced funding of €4.1 million to develop and enhance over 150 outdoor recreation projects.

The investment, under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), will be key to enhancing our mountain trails, forest walks, cycleways, rivers, lakes and beaches.

It will also provide a boost to local economies by attracting more visitors to our rural communities.

Up to €30,000 will be invested in each project under today’s round of funding – with a focus being placed on small scale enhancements, upgrades and repairs.

The Waterford projects being funded include:

Waterford ORIS Recipients

Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said:

“With summer just a couple of months away, I’m really pleased to announce over €4.1 million to develop over 150 outdoor recreation projects right across Rural Ireland. The investment I’m announcing today will greatly enhance the natural amenities right on our doorstep – from our walkways, mountain trails and forest walks, to our cycleways, beaches and rivers. I believe the projects receiving funding today will play an important role in attracting more visitors to our rural towns and villages. So my big message as Minister today is to get out and explore those hidden gems in your community. The clocks are going forward this weekend – a perfect reason to go on that hike or cycle and enjoy the great outdoors.”

Minister Humphreys continued:

“The Government’s Rural Development policy, ‘Our Rural Future’ and the new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy, ‘Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors’, have together set the stage to strengthen and support the sustainable development of the outdoor recreation sector in Ireland for years to come. The health benefits from engaging in outdoor activity combined with the economic and social benefits that can be achieved by this investment for rural Ireland, will no doubt serve us well in to the future. That is why I am making this funding available today and I look forward to making further announcement for larger scale investment in this sector in the coming weeks.”

A full list of successful projects is available here .

The announcement today will also benefit local communities with new or enhanced outdoor facilities while also helping to support local economies by continuing to offer domestic and international visitors an attractive and exciting array of outdoor amenities.

This funding will be invested in 151 outdoor recreation projects, bringing the total number of projects funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development, since its establishment in 2017, to almost 1,600 nationwide.

These projects, under Measure 1, are to receive funding of up to €30,000 and will be delivered by September 2025. Further announcements of successful projects under Measures 2 and 3 of ORIS 2023 will be made in the coming weeks.

The funding announced today is in addition to the €2.3m which was announced in November 2023 for 50 projects under the Project Development Measure of ORIS.


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