Part of Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2017
Minister of State for the OPW and Longford/Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has this morning welcomed confirmation that he has received €750,000 from Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural Affairs, towards an outdoor recreation park at Athlone Regional Sports Centre.
“This is fantastic news for Athlone and surrounding areas. The proposed Recreation Park will be an extension to the Sports Centre and will incorporate existing facilities of the children’s’ playground area (including disability swings) and the skateboard park,” said Minister Moran.
“The new outdoor facilities will include an easy trail, a walking track, a more difficult or competitive track with hills, together with a sprinting track,” he added. “And to compliment the range of fitness options, there will also be an outdoor fitness boot camp, similar to the one that has been installed at Monksland.”
The new recreational park will also encompass a BMX area which I am particularly pleased about as bike riders will now have their own separate space,” said Minister Moran. “As a councillor I was to the forefront in bringing the skateboard park to the Sports Centre complex and I know this will be similarly successful. The new facilities will also be complimented with a family/picnic area.”
The funding comes under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme for 2017. The Scheme provides funding for the development of outdoor recreational infrastructure and for the necessary maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas across Ireland.
The new park will have access point to the greenway with free parking at the sports centre. “What is particularly pleasing about this new development is that it will be all free to access, there will be no charge to anything. If you want to go cycling on the greenway, or use any of the facilities, the main point of this is free, and so is the parking,” said Minister Moran.
“The funding awarded today is money that will be well spent. I met with the Sports Centre Manager, Liam Cunningham and his team, together with the County Council and the local Municipal District Council to assist in every way I could to advance this project at Government level,” said Minister Moran.
“The new recreational park will be a lasting legacy for the people of Athlone and the surrounding areas and will assist in promoting a healthy lifestyle for young and old for generations to come,” said Minister Moran.
Among the other projects in the South Westmeath area that have been successful are:
€10,000 – Old Rail Trail (Landscaping at Sarsfield Square, signage and maintenance.
€10,000 – Portlick (enhance walkway and signage)
€10,000 – Big Meadow (maintenance, upgrading and cutting of bushes for easy access, signage)
€10,000 – Golden Mile (upgrading of golden sand and addressing minor flood ponding)
€10,000 – Old CIE Road Moate (Links Rosemount, Ballymore and Old Railway Station for access to the Greenway