€30K funding for beach changing shelters

Bettystown and Laytown Beaches will receive €45k in funding under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), which is a fund to enhance outdoor amenities including walkways, cycleways, rivers, lakes, and beaches.

€30k has been approved to Develop three changing shelters along the east coast of Meath at Netterville Terrace and €15k has been approved to repair 100m of wooden boardwalk at Bettystown beach.

Local Fine Gael Councillor, Sharon Tolan has this week welcomed the news from Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, that her application for €30,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme has been successful.

The application to provide three changing shelters, two in Laytown and one at Gormanston, will be welcome news to the hundreds of year round swimmers that use the beaches daily according to Tolan who added:

“I am delighted that we have secured this funding and I am very grateful to the 495 swimmers that completed my sea swimming survey recently that helped secure it. The shelters will be a welcome addition, particularly on wintery days but will also double up as seating platforms for those less able bodied to sit and relax and watch the waves. I will continue to work with our Environment and Community team, along with our Area Engineer and Area Manager, to further enhance 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 positive outcome from the funding grant saying:

“The funding today will provide a welcome boost to our local economy by attracting more visitors to the respective areas, in particular the funding to develop three changing areas in Netterville Terrace will make a big difference to the visitor experience along the East Meath coast.

“Outdoor activities play a key role in communities and we have seen this throughout the recent pandemic. Recreation tourism is growing internationally and has the potential to have major economic spin-off benefits for our rural towns and villages.

Funding for larger scale projects under Measures 2 and 3 of the scheme will be announced by Minister Humphreys in the coming weeks.

Minister Humphreys added: “Every county will benefit from today’s announcement so if you’re a walker, a swimmer, a cyclist or even a fisherman – check out the list to see what’s happening in your county.

“Getting active in the fresh air outdoors can be a tonic for the body and soul and this was brought home to us all during the pandemic.

“Some of these amenities are often hidden gems on our doorsteps so I’m encouraging people to get out and discover them over the rest of the Summer”, Minister Humphreys concluded.