Outdoor Recreation Funding for Ballyhoura Walks and trails across the Ballyhoura Development area are to benefit from investment under The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme to support maintenance, upgrades, communication and marketing. The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails. The funding announced, under Measure 1 of the Scheme, will support small-scale local projects with funding of up to €20,000 each. The funding is being provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development in association with Fáilte Ireland. The impact of Covid 19 over the past 12 months has demonstrated more than ever the importance of local walking and cycling trails to enable people to maintain physical and mental wellbeing. Access to good quality outdoor trails, accessible information and clear communication around local outdoor opportunities is more important than ever as the number of people using local walking and cycling trails continues to increase. Welcoming the funding, Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Michael Collins said the last year has shown more than ever the importance of outdoor amenities for our physical and mental wellbeing; "There has been a sizable increase in the number of people using our walking trails, cycleways, parks and other resources to exercise and keep fit while respecting the guidelines on social distancing during the Covid-19 crisis,” "I’m delighted to see that the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will fund these six projects in Limerick with a particular focus on rural areas". Outdoor recreation also provides a key attraction for visitors to the Ballyhoura area and continued investment in outdoor recreation will play a vital role in helping local tourism businesses recover in a post COVID-19 world. The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme will open again in 2021 and communities have the time and opportunity to consider what outdoor recreation projects can enhance their local community. Ballyhoura Development are here to help and support communities in coming together to develop ideas through to project application stage. For more information on how your community can prepare to participate in the 2021 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, please contact your local Ballyhoura Development Officer.