FUND­ING of €200,000 has been al­lo­cated for the de­vel­op­ment of a walk­way and cy­cle­way on the grounds of Mal­low Cas­tle un­der a Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive aimed at en­hanc­ing out­door recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties.

The fund­ing is part of an al­most €11 mil­lion pack­age un­der the Out­door Recre­ation In­fra­struc­ture Scheme, with 78 pro­jects around the coun­try set to ben­e­fit un­der the cash wind­fall.

Speak­ing to the Cork­man the man­ager of Cork County Coun­cil’s Kan­turk/Mal­low mu­nic­i­pal dis­trict, Mary Hayes, said pro­vi­sion of the walk­way and cy­cle­way would be the next phase of the over­all mas­ter­plan for the Cas­tle and in grounds drawn up by the au­thor­ity.

Works al­ready un­der­taken un­der the plan in­clude im­prov­ing ac­cess to the Cas­tle and its 33-acres of gar­dens and park­lands, the up­grad­ing of its en­trance av­enue in­clud­ing the erec­tion of bol­lards and pub­lic light­ing and the de­vel­op­ment of a walk­way link­ing the es­tate to the Town Park.

Ms Hayes said that other el­e­ments of the mas­ter­plan, which will be rolled out in a phased ba­sis over the com­ing year will in­clude ad­di­tional walk­ways, a blue­way along the River Black­wa­ter, the pro­vi­sion of ded­i­cated an­gling points along the river and a play­ground.

She said it was also hoped to hold more pub­lic events in the cas­tle grounds such as live con­certs and out­door plays.

“The over­ar­ch­ing aim of the mas­ter­plan is trans­form the cas­tle grounds into a ma­jor vis­i­tor at­trac­tion for the north Cork re­gion,” said Ms Hayes.

“Con­sul­tants are cur­rently work­ing out routes for the new walk­way and cy­cle­way, which we hope to have in place by the end of this year,” she added.

The an­nounce­ment of the tranche for fund­ing for Mal­low Cas­tle has been warmly wel­comed by lo­cal pub­lic rep­re­sen­ta­tives, with Min­is­ter for State and Cork East TD David Stan­ton say­ing it would help “en­sure the de­vel­op­ment of this ex­cel­lent fa­cil­ity for the town.”

Cllr John Paul O’Shea said the de­vel­op­ment of the cas­tle would both “im­prove the qual­ity of life for lo­cal res­i­dents and serve to boost lo­cal tourism”.

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