Donegal County Council has launched a new grant scheme for local businesses that aims to support the development of overnight facilities for the caravan, camping, campervan and motorhome sector in the county.
This grant scheme will be open until the end of May targeting local businesses and will focus on supporting new and additional accommodation facilities in locations currently underserved in the county.
A second call for this grant scheme will take place in the coming weeks and will target community and voluntary based groups.
In 2021 Donegal County Council commissioned KPMG Future Analytics to undertake a study of the caravan, camping, campervan and motorhome sector in County Donegal, which provided recommendations for the future sustainable development of this sector.
The study found that the increase in the number of visitors to the county over the last number of years has led to increased pressures in certain popular stop off locations around Donegal and pointed to the need for a more strategic approach to managing the development of this sector in a way that is both sustainable and viable. One of the study recommendations focused on the need to provide for additional overnight facilities for the sector.
Donegal County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr. Jack Murray believes the grant scheme will provide an opportunity for local businesses to service this growing market saying “this is a growing sector and while the last number of years has seen a growing number of visitors from across Ireland visiting Donegal, we believe there is also an opportunity to tap into other markets including across Europe. However, it is crucial that we do this in a manner that is sustainable, supports local communities and businesses while also protecting the natural environment and the wonderful landscape that we have. These funds will allow local businesses to expand on the overnight accommodation options for the caravan, camping, campervan and motorhome sector and ensure we have the facilities to cater for this market”.
The grant aid is being offered at up to 50% of actual costs for local businesses and the application process is now open, with a closing date of 30th May 2022. It is proposed that a further call for applications from community and voluntary based groups will open in early June 2022.
Application forms are available on the Donegal County Council website at https://www.donegalcoco.ie/business/developingourtourismsector/. For further information contact Amanda McNamee by emailing CCCgrantscheme@donegalcoco.ie or phone 074-9172282.