National Cycle Network (NCN) Seed Funding Scheme 2013
In March, 2013 the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport (DTT&S) announced a National Cycle Network Seed Funding Scheme. The Scheme was devised with the aim of providing start-up support to local authorities for cycle projects considered to have merit from the perspective of generating recreational, tourism and economic activity and for which the authority did not have the resources for initial planning and design work. Local authorities were invited to submit expressions of interest and were advised that priority would be given to high quality, off-road greenway routes that have the potential to be world class trip attracters in their own right.
35 applications of varying scope, length and cost were received from 23 local authorities by the deadline of 12 April and were assessed against the following criteria.
- Tourist attraction in own right (complementary to tourist destinations promoted by Fáilte Ireland)
- World class cycling route (taking length and quality of cycleway into account)
- Connectivity and future development plans
- Potential for local and functional cycling
- Geographic spread
Following assessment 12 projects were selected to receive seed funding at a total cost of €420,000. These authorities should then be in a position to submit well developed proposals under the next round of the National Cycle Network Funding Programme (2014-2016).
The table below is the full list of the 12 projects (by Local Authority area) that will receive/have received funding. The applications submitted are available to download under County.
Description of Proposal
Clare County Council
West Clare Railway Greenway
This Greenway when completed will link Ennis with North Clare Tourism and Golf Resort at Lahinch. Its total length will be 40km but will be delivered as a four phase project. Phase 1 Ennis to Ballymaquiggan (3.9km), Phase 2 Ballymaquiggan to Corofin (15km), Phase 3 Corrofin to Ennistymon (18km) and Phase 4 Ennistymon to Lanhinch (3.5km). The last phase last been completed under funding from 2012/2013 NCN Programme. Funding under this scheme will help to complete preliminary planning and design work on this phase as well as land owner searches and itemisation along the remaining route to be developed.
3.9 Phase 1
Cork County Council
West Cork Abandoned Rail Lines Greenway -Cork to Kinsale Section
The Cork to Kinsale Greenway represents the first phase in the opening up of the abandoned lines of the Cork Bandon and South Coast Railway. The Cork Bandon and South Coast Railway incorporating over 188km of former rail lines has the long term potential to be developed as Ireland’s premier off-road cycling destination. The proposed Cork to Kinsale Greenway is 36km in length and will be developed as a dedicated off-road cycle and walking route linking Cork and the iconic tourism town of Kinsale. The Greenway will incorporate the impressive Chetwynd and Halfway Viaducts and Ireland’s longest railway tunnel at Ballinhassig that will act as visitor attractions in their own right. These structures will require specialist engineering input to assess both their structural stability and to prepare recommendations for best methods for adaptation for use as part of the proposed route. The funding requested is required for this purpose.
Cork County Council
West Cork Abandoned Rail Lines Greenway -Ballinascarthy to Courtmacsherry Section
This proposal also forms part of the aforementioned 188km of the former rail network in Co. Cork. This proposed cycleway will be 14km in length and will run from Ballinascarty to Courtmacsherry. It will be predominantly off-road and one section (4.5km) from Timoleague to Courtmascherry along the coast is already developed as a result of active community groups in the area. Cork County Council has strong partnership links with such groups and the local Leader company West Cork Development Partnership. The amount of funding provided will be used for costs associated with detailed planning and design to enable planning permission and tender submission for the construction of the Greenway.
Galway County Council - Connemara Greenway - Clifden to Oughterard - site survey
Galway County Council are currently involved in the planning and preparation of a large and critically important section of the National Cycle Network extending from Galway to Clifden with the ultimate aim of extending this national cycle network from Clifden to Leenane and up to meet the cycle network extending from South Mayo. To date, Galway County Council has prepared the Environmental and Planning requirements for the section of National Cycle Track from Clifden to Oughterard, a distance of 52km. This section has recently received planning approval from An Bord Pleanala. To progress the planning and finalise the detailed planning, Galway County Council will use the funding under the seed funding scheme to complete the design of this section of the Greenway and proceed to construction. This survey will cost €25,000 and is an ideal proposal to fund from your seed finance. This project passes through Connemara along the great old Western rail line from Clifden to Galway.
Kerry Co Council
Ring of Kerry Trail - Glenbeigh to Renard, Cahersiveen
South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) has prepared a feasibility study on the development of a 26km cycleway along the abandoned railway line between Glenbeigh to Renard, Cahersiveen. This route will mirror the iconic Ring of Kerry route. The long term objective is to develop a Ring of Kerry cycleway. There is already an annual event in place known as the Ring of Kerry Cycle, which attracted 8,000 cyclists last year. Kerry County Council want to appoint specialist engineering consultants to carry out a structural assessment of existing structures on the route and a geotechnical assessment of the ground conditions on the elevated sections of the route as identified in the Study.
Leitrim County Council North Leitrim Greenway - along the track of the former Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR)
Leitrim County Council plans to develop a world class greenway along the length of what was the Sligo, Leitrim and Northern Counties Railway. While stand alone, this project is complimentary to the proposal submitted by Sligo County Council (and also approved under this Seed Funding Scheme – see below). The joint proposal would see the proposed route being developed from Collooney to Ballintogher in Co. Sligo traveling through Co. Leitrim, adjacent to Dromahair, Manorhamilton and Lough MacNean. The route has potential to link to the tourism flagship, the Wild Atlantic Way, and the Marble Arch Caves/Geopark in Counties Fermanagh and Cavan. This funding will fund the initial design of the route in Co. Leitrim, which is 35km long and is off-road.
Mayo County Council -Monasteries of the Moy
This Greenway would run between Ballina and Killala in Co. Mayo, a length of 12.5km. This proposal is aligned to Fáilte Ireland’s Strategic Cycle Tourism Network - Wild Atlantic Cycle Trail – which is proposed to follow the Atlantic coastline in Mayo from Leenaun to Ballina passing through Westport, Newport, Mulranny, Belmullet and Killala. There is rich ecclesiastical heritage dotted along the western banks of the Moy between Ballina and Killala and includes the four monastic settlements of Augustinian Abbey, Ballina, Resserk Friary, Moyne Abbey and Killala Round Tower. The seed funding is required for the planning and design of the route.
Roscommon County Council -North Roscommon Greenway
Roscommon County Council wish to develop the concept of a Greenway cycle route in the North of the County that will start and finish in Boyle to promote this historic riverside town and capitalise on the tourism potential of the town’s existing attractions such as King House, Boyle Abbey and Boyle harbour. It is proposed to integrate the cycle route with the popular boating holidays on the River Shannon which the route crosses at three locations. There are two routes proposed, a Red Route, which is 23 km and a Green Route, which is an additional 19km. The proposal would also tie-in with Roscommon’s flagship tourist facility at Lough Key Forest & Activity Park. It will also unlock the tourism potential of smaller villages along the route at Knockvicar - Organic Garden, boating facilities at Clarendon Lough, Keadue - a national award winner in Tidy Towns Competitions and location of the famous O'Carolan Harp Festival, and links to the Arigna Mining Experience. The seed funding will be used to develop a proposal to application stage for the funding call later in 2013.
Sligo Borough Council
Sligo section of SLNCR Greenway
As above (see Leitrim application), the seed funding will support the advance planning and design of the Sligo section (Collooney to Ballintogher) of the SLNCR Greenway, which will encompass 20.5km of off-road cycle route.
South Dublin County Council -Dodder Greenway
In 2012, a feasibility study was undertaken on a proposal to develop a high quality cycle route along the River Dodder between the River Liffey at Grand Canal Dock and the Dublin Mountains at Bohernabreena where it would join the walking route, Dublin Mountains Way. The proposed Dodder Greenway is 18km from Grand Canal Dock to the gates of Bohernabreena reservoirs, with a further 4km length of paved road within the reservoir grounds that is already accessible to cyclists. Accordingly, the full length is 22km.
This year, the NTA funded the design and implementation of a cycle route that traverses the Dodder and extends from Tallaght to Ballyboden. Once completed, this route will link with the proposed Dodder Greenway. The seed funding is for an examination of the potential of the route from a tourist, recreational and economic perspective and design and Part 8 planning for the section between Oldbawn and Bohernabreena.
South Tipperary County Council -Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir Greenway
The Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir Greenway Route will extend over a distance of 20km and would be substantially along the existing River Suir tow path which connects the two towns. These two towns are important stops on the Butler Trail and provide significant points of interest for tourists. Kilsheehan village is also situated on the route and this village, together with Clonmel and Carrick, will provide all the necessary services for cyclists on route. The seed funding will provide for consultants to be appointed to carry out a feasibility study and for the preparation of project plans (subject to the feasibility findings), the management of the planning process and tender documentation.
Westmeath County Council -Mullingar Greenway
Westmeath County Council will use the seed funding to progress design proposals for a 20km greenway from the feeder canal at Lough Owel to the North of the town to the Royal Canal in Mullingar where it will connect to the proposed Dublin to Galway Greenway. A cycleway will be provided through the town to provide a connection to the greenway along Lacey’s Canal to the shores of Lough Ennell in the South.