The restoration of the 800m Borris Railway Viaduct in Carlow has been included in a €1billion spend under the Regeneration and Development Fund.
A sum of €654,820 has been allocated for the project which will link the Borris Railway Viaduct to amenities in Borris town, will improve access and will re-surface the viaduct for use as a walk and cycleway.
It will also provide a tourist attraction for the area.
Local Carlow TD Pat Deering has welcomed the funding allocation and said it was the end result of a lot of hard work over the years from the local community and all the stakeholders involved.
"It will add hugely to the area," he added.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, on Friday announced the first successful applicants under the Government’s €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which aims to breathe new life into Ireland’s smaller towns and villages.
At a special event in Sligo the Taoiseach, Minister Ring and Minister of State, Sean Canney outlined the scale and ambition of the fund.
In total some €1 billion in funding will be allocated over the next 10 years for rural communities with a population of fewer than 10,000, as part of the Project Ireland 2040 plan to redevelop Ireland.
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund aims to rejuvenate smaller towns, villages and rural areas, generate job opportunities in rural areas, and help communities to improve their quality of life.
More than 290 projects applied for this first stage, with the focus in this round on heritage and tourism, infrastructural improvement, economic development, and rural regeneration.
Some of the successful projects announced at today’s event include:
· Conversion of prominent heritage building in Kinsale, Co Cork into a local public library
· A new National Centre of Excellence for Surfing in Strandhill, Co Sligo
· Converting the Valentia Island Trans-Atlantic Cable Station in Co Kerry into a museum and business innovation hub
· Restoration of the 800 metre Borris Railway viaduct in Co Carlow - linking the town to local walkways
· Restoration of Swan Park in Buncrana, Donegal following its devastation by flooding last year
Today’s announcement focuses on 18 projects to be supported in 2019, totalling €24.4 million. €55 million in total has been allocated to the Fund for 2019 and further announcements of projects to be funded in 2019 will follow shortly.
Over 290 applications for funding were received from a wide variety of state funded bodies in 2019. Over the next four years, €315 million will be invested in rural communities through the Fund.
An Taoiseach said: "In May, I was joined by Ministerial colleagues to launch four game-changing funds under Project Ireland 2040, with a total investment of €4 billion.
"Together these funds represent a new and innovative approach to investment and capital spending in Ireland.
"The €1 billion Rural Fund will enable towns, villages and outlying rural areas to grow sustainably. It’s all about making Rural Ireland a more attractive place to stay, move into or run a business."