Bettystown and Laytown Beaches will receive funding of €45,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Program (ORIS), which is a fund to improve outdoor amenities including footbridges, cycle paths, rivers, lakes and beaches.
€30,000 has been approved to develop three changing huts along the east coast of Meath at Netterville Terrace and €15,000 has been approved to repair 100m of boardwalk on Bettystown beach.
Fine Gael local councilor Sharon Tolan this week welcomed news from Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys that her request for €30,000 under the outdoor recreation infrastructure scheme has been accepted.
The application to provide three changing shelters, two in Laytown and one in Gormanston, will be good news for the hundreds of year-round swimmers who use the beaches daily according to Tolan who added:
“I’m thrilled we got this funding and I’m so grateful to the 495 swimmers who recently completed my sea swimming survey and helped secure it. The shelters will be a welcome addition, especially on winter days, but will also serve as seating platforms for the less able to sit and relax and watch the waves. I will continue to work with our Environment and Community team, as well as our Area Engineer and Area Manager, to further improve the area and provide more amenities for the public. I hope this is just the start of something bigger!
Local Fine Gael TD for Louth and East Meath, Fergus O’Dowd also commented on the successful outcome of the grant saying:
“Today’s funding will provide a welcome boost to our local economy by attracting more visitors to the respective areas, in particular the funding to develop three change zones in Netterville Terrace will make a big difference to the experience of visitors. visitors along the east coast of Meath.
“Outdoor activities play a key role in communities and we have seen this throughout the recent pandemic. Recreational tourism is growing internationally and has the potential to have significant economic benefits for our rural towns and villages.
Funding for larger scale projects under Measures 2 and 3 of the program will be announced by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.
Minister Humphreys added: ‘Every county will benefit from today’s announcement so if you are a walker, swimmer, cyclist or even a fisherman check the list to see what is happening in your county.
“Being active in the fresh air outdoors can be a tonic for body and mind and we have all been reminded of this during the pandemic.
“Some of these amenities are often hidden gems on our doorstep, so I encourage people to get out and check them out for the rest of the summer,” concluded Minister Humphreys.