Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Ceisteanna (35)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

35. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the expenditure outturn for 2018 under the outdoor recreational infrastructure scheme; when he plans to invite proposals for the 2019 funding programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2985/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (formerly known as the Rural Recreation Scheme) is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure or the necessary maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in Ireland.

Last May last, I launched the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for 2018 under three separate measures, with funding of between €20,000 and €500,000 available for projects of different scale under the scheme.

Arising from applications received for funding under the 2018 scheme, I approved over 230 projects for funding of almost €21 million, including 78 projects for funding of €10.8 million on 8th January this year.

The expenditure outturn under the scheme for 2018 was €5,333,214, which includes payments in respect of approvals made in both 2017 and 2018.

Since I introduced the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in 2016, I have approved almost 600 projects for funding of over €41 million. This investment has funded walkways, blueways, trails and other outdoor infrastructural projects around the country.

I propose to launch the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for 2019 during the first quarter of 2019, to continue investment in projects that will benefit visitors and locals alike in rural areas.