The announcement of €3.4m in funding for work on the first phase of the South Kerry Greenway project by Minister Alan Kelly has been warmly welcomed by South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. The project aims to redevelop the old railway line be Glenbeigh and Cahersiveen as a cycleway and it is expected to provide much needed economic benefits for the region.
Speaking following the announcement of the funding SKDP CEO Noel Spillane described it as a vindication of the work SKDP has put into bringing the project to this stage. The idea for developing the old railway line as a cycleway originated in South Kerry Development Partnership he pointed out and the funding that enabled the feasibility study to be undertaken on this initial phase was provided under the RDP LEADER Project, Noel added. “We then met with Minister Kelly and provided him with this Feasibility Study which set out the proposal in detail for him which was crucial in getting his support for the plan” Noel said. The Partnership has also been to the fore in working with the landowners along the proposed route and helping to ensure their views and opinions have been heard at all stages of the process to date. “This project is likely to have major benefits for both the local communities who will have access to this wonderful new cycleway in the region as well as encouraging the development of the tourism industry along the route” Noel said and based on the success of other cycleway projects, particularly in Mayo, it is likely to result in the creation of badly needed jobs for local people in the area also he added.
SKDP’s Agriculture Manager Joseph McCrohan praised the landowners along the route for their positive co-operation and attitude towards the project to date and said that he was hopeful now that they would all come on board to ensure the project proceeds smoothly following the announcement of this funding. SKDP Consultation with the farming community has been ongoing from the very beginning in 2010 including a fact finding visit to Mayo in November 2012 attend by over 30 farmers from South Kerry with support from the Local Community Development Programme. “The farming community along the route recognise the importance of this project for all in the region and the benefits that can come from it and I’m sure we will now all work together to help make it a reality” Joseph said.
The funding for the project will be channelled through Kerry County Council and it is likely some of the work along the route will be done by workers on the Rural Social Scheme operated in the area by South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd.