#Angling - Following the announcement of an €800,000 stimulus package for economic development on Ireland’s waterways, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has released details of Leitrim’s share to develop angling in Ballinamore.
An award of €100,000 from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs under the REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zone) Initiative will go to improving access to angling in Ballinamore with a view to developing tourism in the Lakelands region, as proposed by Leitrim County Council with support from IFI.
The project involves the development of angling infrastructure at Garadice and Kiltybarden Lakes, venues noted for match angling and currently annual hosts of the World Pairs Angling Championships. The €100,000 grant will upgrade the facilities at these locations to draw other national and international competitions to the area.
The angling facility will also be accessible to wheelchair users and will have a special area dedicated to youth angling.
In total the project will cost around €125,000, with the rest of the funding provided by IFI (€21,200) and Leitrim County Council (€3,800).
Frank Curran, chief executive of Leitrim County Council, said: “We are delighted with the approval of the funding for the Rural Economic Development Zone for Ballinamore and Carrigallen area which is focusing on the angling sector.
“Angling is an extremely important economic driver for this area made possible by the excellent fishing lakes in the locality along with a well-known, international reputation. Ballinamore/Carrigallen has been host to numerous angling competitions such as the World Pairs and the Dutch King of Clubs.
“Leitrim County Council looks forward to working with the local trade and Inland Fisheries Ireland in the delivery of this project in the coming months.”
IFI head of business development Suzanne Campion added: “Our fisheries resource is precious from a recreational and economic viewpoint. We are committed to ensuring that Ireland uses the resource to its best potential in a conservation focused manner and we are delighted to secure this funding for Leitrim.
“Anglers already enjoy the great fishing and beautiful scenery available at Ballinamore and this facility will make access to angling easier and allow the area to cater for several large and international angling competitions.
“Investment in angling development is crucial if we are to help attract visitors to rural areas. We know that angling visitors spend considerable time in an area when they identify with it as an angling destination. Anglers use several services and business in an area when visiting such as accommodation, restaurants, shops as well as boat hire and equipment rental.
“We look forward to working with our partners, Leitrim County Council and the community, in enhancing Ballinamore as a top angling destination.”
The Ballinamore project will form part of IFI’s National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD), a comprehensive national framework for the development of Ireland’s angling resource.
The strategy aims to deliver a wide-ranging set of investments, innovations and promotions over the coming five years, to ensure that Ireland’s fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced for both their economic value and recreational benefit to the communities and visitors they serve across Ireland.