Horse Bridge over the Barrow in Athy
The Barrow Blueway project from Lowtown in Robertstown to Athy has been granted €5,067,941 in Government funding.
Kildare County Council and Waterways Ireland had sought the money from Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring under the Rural Regeneration Fund.
Fine Gael TD for Kildare South and Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon confirmed the funding allocation on Wednesday morning.
He said: "After months of planning, public meetings and lobbying, my colleague Michael Ring has confirmed to me an allocation of the full amount of €5,067.941 to ensure our dream of a 46km blueway along the Grand Canal Barrow line will now become a reality.
"The award of the full amount sought for this major project is a huge boost for the towns of Athy, Monasterevin, Rathangan Vicarstown and all areas that the Blueway will traverse from Lowtown in Robertstown to Athy passing through areas of Co Laois.
"This is a really exciting project which I have worked on for a long time as I know it has the potential to revitalise many communities of South Kildare and Laois who are really supportive of the project.
"This top tourist attraction is sure to bring a huge economic boost to South Kildare and Laois and will mean that we will be directly linked from the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin through the developing Greenway in North Kildare all the way to South Kildare, directly linking us to the largest tourism market in the country.
"Well done to all who have worked so hard on this project to bring it to this point, officials in Kildare and Laois County Councils to see it through planning permission and who worked with Waterways Ireland on the funding application and all the voluntary and community groups in the areas concerned who have shown such enthusiasm for the project.