Funding was approved in March by LCDC and the LEADER (Rural Development Programme) of a Strategic Plan for the proposed “Shackleton Outdoor Education Centre (SOEC), to be developed on a green field site in Athy Town, in a unique location, where the river Barrow intersects with the Grand Canal. It is hoped that a new facility will build on the current work of the Athy Sports Hub, but with much greater capacity, will be able to expand to include a rock climbing wall, a cafe, tour operations, meeting rooms and a rental space.

Speaking to Karl Duffy, (Rural Development Programme MANAGER) The Strategic Plan will examine the overall impact of the proposed SOEC from an economic and a socio-economic stand point, identifying targets and goals and the key elements which should be incorporated in the SOEC to ensure its success and overall sustainability.

Commissioning of the Strategic Plan is and exciting partnership between Kildare Sports Partnership and County Kildare LEADER Partnership, and takes place against a backdrop of exciting opportunities for the town of Athy, with the development of the Barrow Blueway.