Total funding from Department of Rural and Community Development will amount to over €9million

Kildare South Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon has welcomed the allocation of an additional €3.9million towards the completion of the Barrow Blueway Route from Lowtown to Athy. Minister Heydon said, “This new allocation of over €3.9million towards the completion of the Lowtown to Athy Blueway route is wonderful news which will help see this project over the line, for the benefit of people across Kildare and Laois.

“The Barrow Blueway has the potential to open up the south Kildare and north Laois area as a tourist destination, with the increased footfall from tourism a providing a great boost to the local economy. This project will, and has already been seen to, enhance the facilities along the route of the Grand Canal Barrow Line, following the trackway along the river. The provision of a 46km off-road, flat, accessible, public space and leisure route, together with approved paddling trails for on water access means this area will be an attractive destination for families and adventure seekers from all over Ireland.”

“This funding boost will complete the 46km project, stimulating and sustaining employment opportunities along with creating new economic activity in the towns and villages along the route. The funding today will allow for road crossing works, construction of a pedestrian bridge at Rathangan, installation of canoe and kayak septs at various locations along the route, trail furniture including picnic benches, bicycle shelters, and water filling stations along with installation of gateway features at Athy, Monasterevan and Lowtown. With €9million invested in this project by Government and Waterways Ireland, this is the governments Our Rural Future plan in action, delivering at local level and making a real difference in our rural towns and villages.”

“Blueways are designed as a network of scenic trails, running alongside Irelands most scenic lakes, canals and rivers. The Barrow Route presents many of them, with Lowtown, Robertstown, Rathangan, Monasterevan, and Athy all set to benefit.”

Concluding, Minister Heydon stated “The pandemic taught us all to appreciate the fantastic outdoors, right on our doorsteps, and this investment and funding further ensures that south Kildare remains a vibrant place for families, tourists, and the entire community to enjoy. This project will do just that, whilst offering a huge economic boost to local areas and increasing a sense of community by creating new ways to experience beauty spots. There is more investment from Government into Rural Ireland than ever before and these projects are all about making our rural towns and villages great places to live, work and raise a family. I will continue to do my utmost to ensure South Kildare remains top of the queue when it comes to government investment”.