Funding Announced For Wild Atlantic Way Projects

Funding of more than €1 million has been announced for two key projects along the Wild Atlantic Way by the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O'Donovan.

The funding is part of Fáilte Ireland's Capital Grants Allocation for 2016. A grant of €896,000 is being made available to Galway County Council for the Connemara Greenway and a grant of €225,000 is being allocated to the OPW towards Phase 1 of the development of new visitor facilities on the Great Blasket Island.

Making the announcement, Minister O'Donovan said: "I am delighted to announce these grants today as these two important tourism attractions will provide a serious contribution to the future success of the Wild Atlantic Way.

"Tourism moves in a very competitive global market and capital development is one means by which we can ensure that we are fighting fit to win a good portion of overseas visitors and, thereby, gain a return on this investment through increased revenue and jobs regionally."

The grant for the development of the Connemara Greenway will fund a new section of the route from Cloonbeg to Athry, running adjacent to Ballynahinch Castle, with an estimated completion date in May 2017.

This development is part of a wider plan for the Clifden to Oughterard Greenway that will link up with the planned Greenway from Galway City to Oughterard – ultimately resulting in a 78km Galway to Clifden Greenway offering a cycling experience of scale with international appeal for cycling enthusiasts.

The Blasket Centre is located on the Wild Atlantic Way, at the halfway point of the Slea Head Drive, on the Dingle Peninsula. It was developed as a heritage and visitor centre honouring the community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until 1953.

Currently, there are no visitor facilities on the island and this grant will assist the OPW in their overall development of the site by funding new facilities and services on the Island – expected to be completed later this summer.


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