Durrow's leafy loop walk
Rural recreation projects in County Laois will receive a €51,000 boost as part of an Outdoor Infrastructure Scheme.
The scheme is designed to maintain and improve outdoor recreational infrastructure including greenways, blueways and walking trails.
Some of the areas of Laois that will benefit from the money include Oughaval Wood in Stradbally, Woodenbridge Blueway 10K Cycle and The Durrow Leafy Loop.
This is in addition to the €1 million allocated for phase 1 of the Slieve Bloom Montain Bike Trail.
Laois/Offaly TD and Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has welcomed the boost to local tourism.
“This is good news for the county. In addition to the €1 million funding allocated for the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trail, Laois has been allocated €51,000 for rural recreation projects, which is extremely welcome and will help to boost tourism here in County Laois and in the surrounding region.
“This funding is part of the Outdoor Infrastructure Scheme, announced by my colleague Michael Ring, T.D Minister for Rural and Community Development.
“Laois projects receiving grants include New access route to Oughaval Wood Stradbally €7,536, Blueway 7k walk in Ballacolla €4,957, The Durrow Leafy Loop €5,999, proposed Mountrath Sli na Slainte walking route €9,843, Woodenbridge Blueway 10K Cycle €4,957, Binninea Loop €4,578, Slieve Bloom Way (Glenbarrow) €7,990 and Slieve Bloom Way (Laois) €6,000.
“Recreational tourism is growing year on year and so it is crucial we continue to improve facilities and encourage more visitors. Figures from Fáilte Ireland show that the hiking and cycling tourism markets are worth approximately €1.2 billion to the Irish economy.
“Aside from the obvious tourism benefits, it’s also hugely important that we maintain and develop our outdoor infrastructure to encourage everyone to keep fit and live a healthy active lifestyle," he said.