Laois microbrewer gets nearly €50,000 in rural tourism funding

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

micro brewing

David Walsh-Kemmis of Laois brewing company launches a new beer.

A microbrewer of craft beer in the town that hosts the Electric Picnic is the biggest beneficiary of grants to support rural tourism through a multi-million euro fund to support business and other community projects in Laois.

Laois Partnership has a €7.1 million budget through the LEADER programme which runs to 2020. The money comes from Irish taxpayers and the EU.

Details of the LEADER grants approved so far shows nearly €188,000 has gone to rural tourism category projects.

The biggest recipient of the tourism category funding since 2014 is David Walsh-Kemmis of Ballykilcavan Brewing which is located on a farm near Stradbally. He received €48,426.50 to buy brewery equipment and renovate a brewery building which is open to visitors.

Cullohill Community Centre was able to purchase equipment, marketing and advertising for the Cullohill Festival 2018 on the back of a €26,237.61

Durrow Tidy Towns was given nearly €26,000 to host the Durrow Scarecrow Festival which has attracted thousands of visitors to the south Laois village.

Laois Tourism Company Ltd was supported with a grant of just over €23,000 to formulate a tourism development and marketing strategy.

Manor Stone in Ballacolla was able to advance plans for an old farmhouse distillery and heritage village thanks to an €18,63750 grant.

Another recipient was Spink GAA Club which received just over €13,500 to host the Buds and Blossoms Garden Festival.

The Old Fort Quarter Festival Committee received just over €12,800 to draw up a marketing package for the Portlaoise event.

Laois Tour Guides was able to pay for tour guide training thanks to a grant of nearly €8,000.

Irish Country Roads and Culture Trails was given €5,830 to develop a marketing package for the Bulfin Heritage Cycle.

Just over €5,000 was cleared for the Gordon Bennett Classic Car Committee for a capital investment and marketing package for the festival which takes place each year of the June Bank Holiday.

The Leader programme is 63% funded by the EU and 37% funded by the Irish exchequer. In most cases, applicants must provide matching funds.

The national budget for Leader is €250 million.

More than €940,000 has been approved to November 2018 by Laois Partnership to groups and business across Laois.