Irish Waterways are holding a series of Capacity Building Workshops looking at developing the Royal Canal & Greenway as tourist destination. The Kilcock Business Association believe this is a great opportunity for local Kilcock businesses, service providers and local community groups to attend these clinics and get a clear idea of proposed partnerships, future developments, proposals and ideas for the development of a tourism industry around the Royal Canal and Greenway.
What great ideas do you have for setting up a service / event / business / recreation activities around the Kilcock Canal and Greenway?
Monday, 4:30pm, 2nd July 2018 in Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth
Tuesday, 4:30pm, 10th July 2018 in Longford Arms, Longford.
Following event in Longford:
Developing the Royal Canal around Kilcock as a Tourist Destination
From Irish Waterways:
These workshops will focus on the development of Blueway and Greenway trails on and along the 144km of canal and canal towpath from Dublin to Longford. Once complete, Royal Canal will be the longest off road walking and cycling Greenway trail on the island of Ireland. Accompanying this will be a series of Blueway developments, the first being located in Mullingar where a 22km paddling trail and activity hub will be established.
The workshops will encourage the development of activity based packages, dining and accommodation packages and promotional materials which will activate the region and place the product in the ‘shop window’ for both the domestic and international tourist.
After the recent Town Health Check undertaken by Cathal OMeara Architects on behalf of the County Council, some of the projects put forward by the Kilcock Tourism Group have been shortlisted for consideration under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme (T&VRS).
Over the next few weeks the County Council will be finalising a strategy on how the next phase of the T&VRS will be implemented, and we will then formulate our ongoing strategy. Here is a list of the tourism projects that made it through this process:
Daytripper Travelling Barge
Fixed Barge as Tourism Information Hub and Cafeteria
Royal Canal Museum / Coffee Shop / Renewable Energy Education Centre (including a pair of micro hydro power generators)
The completion of the Royal Canal Greenway delivers a wonderful amenity for locals and tourists alike as well a massive opportunity for Kilcock’s business community.
To date most of the 84km route along the Royal Canal from Maynooth to Athlone is now fully accessible with the exception of a small section of the Greenway around Ferrans Lock (due to commence construction in the Spring).
From Dublin Docks to Blanchardstown the Greenway is now complete with the addition of lights and CCTV installed. The whole 26km of towpath from Maynooth to Dublin should have been complete by year end but some delays have arisen around the construction of the Greenway from Clonsilla to Leixlip. New planning is early stages here as there were concerns around the impact to bird life.
A promotional video has been released and shows some of the highlights of the Royal Canal Greenway so far.
Part of European Wide Network of Cycling Routes
The Royal Canal Greenway is part of European wide network of cycling routes. In the near future it is expected to extend further with a route from Athlone to Galway linking Dublin and Galway in a true Coast to Coast route for cyclists and walkers. The initiative is part of the greater Trans-European cycle route “EuroVelo 2” – a network of 15 long distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent.
International Standard signage has been adopted for this Greenway European wide and can already be seen in Mullingar. Similar signage will be erected in the Kilcock area and will promote and illustrate local amenities, places of interest and local restaurants.
Whilst no there is no definitive date for the official opening of the Greenway the KBA understands that we should expect it to happen by the end of 2018. Canal wardens are now been appointed and will oversee control of the cycling and pedestrian bi-laws, vandalism and dog litter and some fishing regulations.
Putting Kilcock on the Map
Irelands Ancient East have recommended to us that the town of Kilcock be mentioned on the I.A.E.map as Kilcock is midway between Trim Castle and Castletown estate. The KBA intend to pursue this further as the inclusion on such a map would greatly improve the visibility of Kilcock as part of the tourist trail.
There is little doubt that the new Greenway will allow for the development of new opportunities for those willing to expand an existing business or perhaps develop a something completely new. Bike hire shop… Anyone?
Thanks to Ger McGreeney for his assistance in putting together this article.