Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (1001)

Claire Kerrane

Question:

1001. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when and the way in which community groups can apply for funding under the outdoor recreation scheme; if they can do so in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38785/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development and/or enhancement of outdoor recreational infrastructure such as cycleways, walking trails, blueways and mountain access routes in countryside areas.

The 2020 scheme was launched on 29th May last and is funded by my Department in partnership with Fáilte Ireland. The 2020 scheme has an indicative budget of €10 million and is being delivered through three Measures as follows:

- Measure 1 : Small Scale Repair/Promotion and Marketing - Grant Amounts: up to €20,000.

- Measure 2 : Medium Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Trail/Amenity Development - Grant Amounts: up to €200,000.

- Measure 3: Large Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Strategic Trail/Amenity Development - Grant amounts: up to €500,000.

In 2020, applications under Measure 1 were invited from Local Authorities and Local Development Companies. The closing date for applications under Measure 1 was 30th September and the applications received are currently being assessed.

Applications under Measures 2 & 3 are invited through Local Authorities, while State Agencies may also apply directly under Measure 3. The closing date for applications under Measures 2 & 3 is 30th November 2020.

Local community groups who have a project that requires funding under the scheme may approach the relevant Local Development Company or Local Authority in their area, depending on the scale of the works involved.

Given the importance of the outdoors for people's health and wellbeing, particularly at this time, I secured an additional €2 million for the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in Budget 2021. The 2021 scheme will have an Exchequer budget of €12 million and details of the scheme will be announced next year.

More information regarding the scheme, including details of projects supported in previous years, is available at

www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/fd0c9f-outdoor-recreation-infrastructure-scheme/.