Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme

Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme provides funding for the development of new and existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas.

The 2021 scheme is now closed.

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development has announced €14 million in funding for outdoor recreation projects and investment that will support the adventure tourism sector in rural communities.

The funding, which is being provided under the Outdoor Recreation and Infrastructure Scheme, will support the key objectives of Our Rural Future.

The focus of the funding is to develop rural Ireland’s unique natural amenities and support outdoor pursuits and adventure activities such as hiking/mountaineering, cycling, horse-riding, canoeing/kayaking, swimming, surfing, sailing, rock-climbing, fishing, paragliding and hang-gliding.

The fund will provide for significant investment in the development of outdoor trails, walkways, cycleways, blueways, tidal pools, floating boardwalks and bridleways.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider opportunities to develop recreational amenities and increase public access and enjoyment of rural Ireland’s mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, beaches and bogs.

The funding announcement is aimed at supporting outdoor recreation tourism, a growing tourism sector internationally, which has the potential to have major economic spin-off benefits for rural towns and villages as well as improving the health and well-being of rural communities.

The 2021 Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) will provide funding under 4 separate measures:

  • Measure 1: Small Scale Repair/Development/Promotion and Marketing - grant up to €20,000 
  • Measure 2: Medium Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Trail/Amenity Development - grant up to €200,000 
  • Measure 3: Strategic Large Scale Repair/Upgrade and New Strategic Trail/Amenity Development projects - grant up to €500,000
  • Project Development Measures - is new for 2021 and will provide funding for the detailed development of projects which would enable them to reach a standard for application under Measure 2 or 3 of ORIS - grant up to €50,000

The closing date for the receipt of Expressions of Interest was, Friday 28th May 2021.