€256,000 boost for rural Laois


€256,000 boost for rural Laois

Glenbarrow amenity area and cycle trails in the Slieve Blooms are two of the local areas to benefit for a total of €256,000 funding to support rural recreation projects in Laois.

Laois TD and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, said he was delighted that Laois is to receive €256,000 as part of the Government’s programme to support rural development.

“It will support a number of key projects, including improvement works to Glenbarrow Waterfall/amenity area and the promotion of the cycle trails in the Slieve Blooms,” Minister Flanagan said.

Minister Flanagan said that funding into recreational pursuits in the Laois countryside would be of great benefit to the local rural economy.

He cited figures from Fáilte Ireland revealing that in 2014, close to 1.2 million visitors to Ireland took part in hiking or cross country walking and spent in the region of €915 million in the Irish economy.

Meanwhile 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.

“It is clear that they must continue to be supported,” said the Minister.

“Investment in recreational facilities has a proven effect in boosting local economies here in Laois and assisting in the creation and retention of employment in the hospitality, tourism and services sectors Laois.”

He added that the economic recovery would reach all parts of the country and its benefits would be “felt inside every doorstep and in every community”.