Funding of over €450,000 allocated to three walking trails around Wicklow
Wicklow's status as a haven for walking enthusiasts looks set to continue after funding worth over €450,000 was allocated to three walking trails.
The funding, worth a total of €467,305, was allocated under the 2018 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) to allow for works at the Vartry Reservoir Trails in Roundwood, St Kevin's Way and the Spinc trail. ORIS is part of the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development and provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure and the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of existing infrastructure.
The €157,705 allocated to the Vartry Reservoir Trail will go towards an extension of facilities and the car park, while €160,000 set aside for St Kevin's Way will be used to upgrade the trail, which stretches from Hollywood to Glendalough.
The €149,600 allocated to the Spinc trail in Glendalough will be used for re-routing and repairs.
Welcoming this announcement, the Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Vance said: 'Recreational tourism is a growing part of Wicklow's tourism offering, and we have seen an increase in the number of visitors enjoying the many walking trails which have been developed in Wicklow in recent years. This is generating income for rural areas and helping to create more jobs in the hospitality and leisure sectors.'
Minister Andrew Doyle said these important trails help to generate income for rural areas and hopes the improvements will see increased numbers of tourists visiting the Garden County.
'Recreational tourism is a growing part of Ireland's tourism offering, and we have seen an increase in the number of Irish and overseas visitors enjoying the many greenways, blueways and walking trails which have been developed around the country in recent years,' said Minister Doyle. 'This is generating income for rural areas and helping to create more jobs in the hospitality and leisure sectors here in Wicklow. Indeed our local communities here in Wicklow are also using these facilities in large numbers and I have no doubt that these improvements to The Spinc, St Kevin's way and Vartry Reservoir will continue to attract many visitors to our county.'
Meanwhile, Minister Simon Harris said that the recently launched Outdoor Recreation Strategy highlights the importance of outdoor recreation to the local economy as well as people's well-being.
'This rural targeted funding is very welcome as Co Wicklow continues to work to develop our tourism and recreation amenities. I will continue to work with Wicklow County Council and Government colleagues to secure funding for the development of our infrastructure,' he said.