Co Leitrim is pioneering a unique approach to the development of future recreational facilities in the county. A county-wide Recreational Forum has been formed and members are preparing for the inaugural meeting today (Wednesday, October 16) at the Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshanbo.
The idea behind the initiative is to garner input from all relevant interest groups in a bid to formulate a Recreational Strategy which will lead the development of recreational facilities such as walking and cycling pathways along with equestrian, rowing, surfing, boating and kayaking in the county over the next four to five years.
Leitrim Development Company has facilitated the setting up of the Forum and it is hoped that, by creating a cohesive approach, the Forum will maximise funding opportunities for recreation projects under the newly revised Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014 to 2020, together with other funding channels.
Speaking just days before the inaugural meeting, Recreational Forum Chairperson, Padraic White, a native of Kinlough, said he was delighted to be involved in such a unique project.
Padraic is an ex-Chief Executive of the IDA and has also served as Chairperson on the Louth Economic Forum and numerous other industrial development, private sector and economic forums.
“This is my first opportunity to contribute something directly in my home county so in a way it is like coming home for me,” he told our reporter.
“What’s incredible here is the amount of work that has already gone on behind the scenes to get to this point and I’d like to pay tribute to the Leitrim Development Company and in particular Alan Hill and Deirdre Lewis who have been in so much work into researching and setting up the Forum.”
Over 100 meetings have been held over the last year with interest groups through the county in order to set up the Forum.
“We are lucky here in Co Leitrim to have such an amazing array of talent to draw from and through this will be able to develop a coherent, transparent plan which will then provide the framework for development over the next four to five years,” he said.