The Waterford Greenway will celebrate its first birthday this springtime but its early successes have been recognised with a nomination in the Best Tourism Initiative section of the All-Ireland Community and Council Awards taking place in Croke Park on February 3.
The awards recognise and celebrate communities and councils working together and provide an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the work done within communities as well as rewarding unsung heroes.
The 46km Waterford Greenway has already attracted close to 250,000 visitors.
Securing the Fáilte Ireland-sponsored award would be a huge boost and a massive coup, according to Waterford City and County Council Mayor Cllr Pat Nugent.
“We’re very proud of the Waterford Greenway and great credit has to go to the staff who have developed and maintain it, to the surrounding communities who have embraced it and promoted it and to the 247,000-plus visitors who used it between March and early December of last year.”
Among those visitors, 105,639 were on foot and 141,906 cycled with a 94% visitor rating of either excellent or good.
Waterford City and County Council chief executive Michael Walsh is hopeful they may scoop the coveted award. “The data we gleaned from a pre-Christmas report on the Greenway was extremely encouraging and it was fantastic to see the Greenway being used for so many purposes and by so many age groups right throughout the year.
“Visitors and local people alike take great pride in it. We’re planning further investment and further attractions along the Greenway and are in negotiations with a number of groups regarding same. It’s been a phenomenal boost to Waterford and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.”