Deadline: Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, Wed 31/May – info & application details

Background: The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme is part of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development and will provide funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure or the necessary maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in Ireland. Funds are provided to projects where works have not yet commenced and will be released to successful applicants in tranches based on a specified level of works being completed.

Timeline for completion of works

For the most part, projects will be required to be completed in 2017. Large scale projects (see Measure 3 below) must be completed by the middle of 2018. A total of €11 million will be allocated to projects approved in 2017, with up to 60% of this (€7 million) available for draw-down in 2017; the balance will be available for draw-down in 2018.  Funds will be released to successful applicants in tranches, based on a specified level of works being completed.

Categories of Application

 Applications will be accepted under three measures:

 Measure 1: ​Small Scale Maintenance/Promotional and Marketing

Projects to include grant aid amounts of up to €10,000 (€2 million available in total).

 Eligible Activities: Resources to support countryside recreation, including for the upkeep and maintenance of already established trails/walkways/cycleways/blueways, improved access to leisure or recreational facilities, and the promotion and marketing of such infrastructure.

 Eligible Applicants: Local Authorities in cooperation with local communities and/or other local stakeholders.

Max No of Projects: Maximum of 15 projects per county, either as individual applications, or as part of one overall application. The number of projects approved for funding will be limited by the overall funding available.

Expected Project Completion Date: All projects must be completed during 2017. 

Measure 2:​ Medium Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Trail Development

Grant Amounts: Grant amounts of up to €100,000 (€3 million available in total)

Eligible Activity: These projects could include the development of new trails/walkways/cycleways/blueways, or other recreational facilities, or extensions to already established trails/walkways/cycleways/blueways. Projects can also include works for the enhancement, maintenance or promotion of such infrastructure.

Eligible Applicants: Local Authorities individually, or working collaboratively with other Local Authorities and/or other local stakeholders.

Max No of Projects: ​Maximum of 4 proposals may be submitted by each Local Authority. The number of projects approved for funding will be limited by the overall funding available.

Expected Project Completion Date: All projects must be completed during 2017.

 Measure 3:​ Large Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Strategic Trail Development

Grant amounts: ​ Grant amounts of over €100,000 and up to €1million

(€6 million available in total).

Eligible Activity:​ These projects could include the development of new larger-scale recreational infrastructure, or resources to complete larger scale/longer term developments, as well as significant repair and maintenance on already established trails/walkways/cycleways/blueways.

Eligible Applicants: ​State Agencies acting either individually or collaboratively and/or Local Authorities acting either individually or collaboratively. Projects involving State Agencies and Local Authorities working in partnership will also be accepted.

Max No of Projects: Applicants under this measure will be confined to one application in this category.

Expected Project Completion Date: Proposed projects must be ready to commence by September 2017 at the latest, and be completed in the first half of 2018.

 Ineligible Activities

• Sports/play grounds

• Marked street trails within towns

Rate of Aid

The scheme will fund up to 80% of the project costs in the case of all Measures, with the additional 20% to be provided from other sources, including Local Authority and/or other resources. Labour or other verifiable and apportionable costs can be counted towards match funding, but should not exceed 15% of the overall cost. A minimum 5% cash contribution is required. It should be noted that the number of projects approved for funding will be limited by the amount of funding available in each category.

Payment Schedule

Subject to the grant levels outlined above, the payment schedule will be as follows:

• 50% of the total allocation will be paid when a minimum of 20% of the total project cost has been expended, and

• 50% payment on completion, based on expenditure actually incurred.

 

Any funding approved in 2017 will be conditional on satisfactory progress with regard to funding approved for similar rural-based schemes in 2016 and previous years.  

Application Process

Applications will be accepted from the following entities on the application form attached in Appendix 1: 

1. Measure 1 and 2: Local Authorities in cooperation with Community Groups and/or other local stakeholders. All applications for these measures must be submitted by email to cnat@ahg.gov.ie by 5 pm on Wed., 31st May 2017. 

2. Measure 3: State Agencies individually or in cooperation with other stakeholders such as Local Authorities. All applications for this measures must be submitted by email to cnat@ahg.gov.ie by 5 pm on Friday, 16th June 2017.

Selection of projects under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for 2017 will be by means of a competitive process. Final project selection will be made by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, on the basis of proposals submitted by the Local Authorities/State Agencies.

The Scheme is funded by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and will be administered through the Local Authorities and/or State Agencies as outlined above.

Successful applicants will be required to acknowledge the support of the Department in all public announcements and advertising relating to the project, and the Department may seek to use the project in the broader promotion of its policies. 

Queries and Completed Applications

Queries can be directed to 096-24240

Queries and completed application forms should be sent to cnat@ahg.gov.ie.

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