Nine high-profile rural tourism projects across the Borough have been submitted for consideration for government grants.
The schemes, ranging from between £340,000 and £1,000,000, will vie for a cash injection from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to help cover costs.
At a total cost of £450,602, the Darkley Forest Park project will be aiming to win a grant of £337,996, while Navan Fort, at a total of £480,150, will be aiming to secure £360,112.
The seven other projects include: Carnagh Forest Trails (£250,000) being sought; Gosford Forest Park (£500,000); Loughgall Country Park (£254,520); Lough Neagh Discovery Centre (£262,500); Dromore Viaduct (£355,500); Maghery Country Park (£355,500) and Scarva Historical Society, Living Legacy Exhibition (£412,000).
The Department will make three expressions of interest calls over the next 18 months and the ABCB Council is expected to agree to these submissions at a meeting of their Economic Development committee tonight (Tuesday).
The programme is a capital fund programme with a budget of £10 million.
Its strategic aims and objectives is to create flagship tourism initiatives, which will help drive ‘out of state’ visitors to tourism facilities across rural areas of Northern Ireland.
The tourism initiatives supported by the scheme will also need to demonstrate a high degree of job creation within the facilities.
This scheme is currently open to all Council’s across Northern Ireland to apply.
The grants range up to a maximum of £500k at a funding ratio of 75%. Contribution in kind can be allocated up to 20% of the grant, however 5% of the grant must be cash contribution.