Tourism in West Cork is a core component of the local economy and supports most other rural enterprises. Our approach in West Cork Development Partnership has always been to support and promote development in an integrated manner. This can take the form of formal networks and initiatives, like the West Cork Regional Brand or community approaches through the provision of vital infrastructure, like walking routes or amenities, or events and festivals. At the individual enterprise level our policy is to look for linkages with other tourism businesses and active marketing outside the area. For more see policies on Accommodation Projects and Festivals & Events.

Rural tourism is also very closely correlated with agricultural activity and can be a valuable source of alternative income.

Programme Objective

To maximise the sustainable, regionally balanced, tourism potential of all rural areas through provision of necessary infrastructure and development of the countryside as a recreational resource for all.

Eligible activities

For capital and other projects promoted by community groups or private individuals, 75% to a maximum grant of up to €150,000 (with the exception of Analysis and Development which is 90% to a max of €30,000) . In exceptional circumstances, and subject to the prior written approval of the Department, grant aid up to €200,000 may be awarded to projects.

Eligible activities include:

  • Analysis and provision of infrastructural needs for tourism and Countryside Recreation in a defined area
  • Maintenance of vernacular features – in a way that protects the heritage of the features – such as disused railway lines, canal towpaths, bog roads etc.
  • Development of the use of forests for countryside recreation.
  • Development of niche tourism such as crafts, speciality food provision, ecotourism, genealogy, archaeology etc.
  • Development of the use of the internet and ecommerce facilities in general for the provision of booking and information services to tourists.
  • Support for the development of tourism facilities and amenities.
  • Support for tourism marketing.
  • Support for the provision of tourism accommodation.

Examples of Projects Funded

Ahakista Escape – self-catering accomodation
Ocean Addicts – live aboard diving vessel
Fastnet Short Film Festival