Bryan Conlon Sligo 0

Coolaney National Bike Park

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Here in Sligo we have been working very hard since 2012 to make this National Mountain Bike Centre a reality. What we need from you is to talk about this amazing project with as many influential people, politicians and businesses as possible. This has got to be on the tip of their tongue when they talk of sport and tourism in Ireland. The island of Ireland is going to be a top destination for mountain biking and tourists will flock to our shores to experience an amazing authentic offering.

Thank you for your support it really has spurred us on and thanks to your recent feedback we have launched this petition. So please show your support here by signing our petition and forward this to as many family, friends and contacts as you can. Spread the word and we will make this a reality.

More info:

Our Steering Group consists of.........

-Daithi deForge and Martin Ruane – Coillte

-Dorothy Clarke, Michael Carty and Ray O’Grady – Sligo County Council

-Councillor Dara Mulvey

-Bryan Conlon – Northwest MTB Club

-Kyle Malee – Coolaney Community Development Company and Northwest MTB Club

-Gavin Laws and Damien McGuinn – Coolaney Community Development Company

In June 2012 Coillte supported by Failte Ireland launched their Off Road Cycling Strategy. In this document, Coolaney, Co Sligo was identified as a potential National Mountain Biking Center. We subsequently established the above mentioned ‘Steering Group’. We now have a Feasibility Study and Corridor Evaluation (sponsored by LEADER and local businesses) which advises that there is a fantastic facility in the Northwest suitable for 76kms of 100% pure single track mountain biking trails and 3.5kms fire road. At this scale the park would be a multi-day destination for families and MTB enthusiasts, with massive economic benefits for the region (projected at 2.2m pa). Located 35 minutes from Knock Airport and on the Wild Atlantic Way, it is well regarded as being a perfect fit for the Northwest’s existing recreational attractions - surfing, walking, equestrian etc.

Other comparable sites attract 50,000+ visitors pa (Ballyhoura, Ticknoc, Rostrevor etc) and based on 76kms of single track this would be the largest and most attractive offering in Ireland. Our site will have access to the top of the mountain with sensational views overlooking the Atlantic, Easkey, Ballisodare Bay, Strandhill, Knocknarea and Benbulben. It will have enormous economic and commercial benefits for the region, attracting visitors to the Northwest from the UK and Europe.

We are now at the funding stage for the overall facility with 5.4m required to turn this into a reality. We are looking at various funding streams i.e. INTERREG and Cross Border. Sligo County Council have engaged a funding consultant to navigate the various European funding options. Ultimately, we believe it will be primarily funded via capital funding from the Government.

To date we have presented our Feasibility study to the following:

-North West Regional Assembly

-MEP Mairead McGunness

-John Perry TD

-Senator Susan O’Keeffe

-Minister Paschal Donohoe

-Sligo Council Members

-Sligo LEADER Partnership

-Eva Dearie, Failte Ireland

-Sligo Tourism

-Western Development Commission

-Enterprise Ireland

-Senator Marion Harkin

-Minister Michael Ring

-Western Development Commission

-Tony McLaughlin TD

All of the above have had a positive view of the project, see the benefits and are actively lobbying for funds. We have a business plan and an economic feasibility study completed and will be presenting same to Minister Paschal Donohoe and Minister Michael Ring in the coming weeks.

Coillte are offering us this amazing facility and have been incredibly generous and supportive in helping us drive this forward. We have to grab this opportunity and turn it into a reality.

Thank you for your support and please help us to spread the word!

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