LAOIS County Council has been provided with €1 million for the part-construction of 72.8km mountain bike trail through the Slieve Bloom Mountains, 40.6kms of which will be through Co Laois.
The news of the grant aid was conveyed to councillors at their July meeting by the council’s chief executive John Mulholland.
Plans have been put in place by Laois and Offaly county councils to develop the mountain bike trail in both counties.
The two sections of trails will be linked by an on-road section along the R440 in the townland of Baunreagh in Laois and Glenregan in Offaly.
The bike trail will run through the townlands of Baunreagh, Monicknew and Bockagh. It will also take in the townlands of Baunrush, Bordowin and Castleconnor, with a road crossing of the R440 in the townland of Baunreagh and a second road crossing of a public road in the townlands of Baunreagh and Monicknew.
The development will also see the demolition of an existing building and the renovation and extension of another existing building to include a café, bicycle hire facilities, construction of parking areas, a bike wash and the installation of a waste water-treatment plant at Baunreagh.
Mr Mulholland described the announcement as “good news for Laois. I want to congratulate everybody involved with the application. A good lot of work went into it before it was submitted for consideration”.
Cllr Seamus McDonald, who is also the chairperson of the Slieve Bloom Association, said he was delighted with the news of the funding and hopes the project will progress as soon as possible.