€192k REDZ funding for Westmeath’s walkways and blueways

Funding of €192,000 has been announced for Westmeath under the Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ ), which will go towards the development of the county’s blueways and walkways.

The fund, which aims to stimulate economic development in rural towns and their hinterlands, sets out €96,000 for Athlone and Mullingar blueways and greenways, and a further €96,000 for the Royal Canal to Lough Owel Amenity Area cycleway extension.

Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (Ind ) said the funding would help stimulate economic development in Westmeath, and would “improve links between rural towns and their hinterlands to stimulate activity at a local level”.

“I am delighted with the announcement of funding for Westmeath as these projects are very dear to my heart,” said Deputy Moran.

“This initiative is all about encouraging local authorities to work with local communities, business interests, and other State bodies, to identify areas of greatest economic need which can make better use of their local assets to generate economic activity. This is all about empowering local communities to provide local residents with local opportunities.”

Welcoming the funding, Fine Gael’s Deputy Peter Burke said: “I am really happy to see that the Government and Ministers are delivering on their commitments to rural Ireland, as outlined in the Partnership Programme for Government.

“We recently received €380,000 for the town and village renewal scheme, there has been almost a quarter of a million authorised for Westmeath in CLAR funding, and this news is a further boost to the county.”

Under the 2016 REDZ scheme, just over €5.3 million is being approved for 41 projects nationwide. The funding was announced by Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys on Monday (November 28 ).

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