06 Dec 2021

€1.5 million for Slieve Bloom bike trails, ploughing and landscaping for Laois tourism

€1.5 million for Laois bike trails, ploughing and landscaping to attract tourists

The Slieve Bloom Bike Trails are among projects funded by Laois County Council in 2022

Over €1.5 million will be spent on tourism projects in Laois and cleaning and landscaping the county for visitors in 2022.

The Slieve Bloom Bike Trails, a Coillte project part funded by Laois County Council, will receive another €380,000.

The 100km of mountain bike trails will be "mostly" finished next summer. They are under construction since 2018, with short stretches already opened on both Laois and Offaly sides of the mountains. 

"Construction work is well advanced on the Slieve Bloom Bike Trail, 100km total length and work is well advanced on the Barrow Blueway south of Vicarstown. On completion both will be top class amenities and will attract greater numbers of visitors to our county.

The Slieve Bloom bike trail is being undertaken by Coillte with a view towards having most of the trail available to visitors by the middle of 2022," the Laois County Council CEO John Mulholland said in his budget report.

Offaly County Council and the Government are also funding the trails, which start at Baunreagh near Mountrath in Laois, and Kinnitty in Offaly, to eventually meet across the mountains.

Laois County Council is also spending €20,000 to support the National Ploughing Championship's hoped return to a full event in 2022, due to take place in Ratheniska.

Landscaping Laois, streetcleaning and maintaining parks and open areas has a budget of €798,300 in 2022.

"This is a critically important function particularly as we try to attract more visitors and economic activity to all parts of the county," Mr Mulholland said.

 he said that Portlaoise's award as Ireland's Cleanest Town will underpin a county wide effort to "bring out the best in the hospitality, tourism and heritage sectors".

There will be €238,000 to help develop tourism and improve tourist information facilities and online information.

Three heritage tourism destinations will share €94,000 between them to boost visitor facilities. They are Donaghmore Famine Workhouse, the Fintan Lalor homestead and heritage work on three of Laois' old churches.

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