Three cycle trails in Central Otago have received part of $850,000 of funding announced by Tourism Minister Stuart Nash last Wednesday.

Central Otago Clutha Trails Ltd, which maintains the Roxburgh Gorge and Clutha Gold Trails, will receive $66,199 from Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trails Fund, with a further $21,355 going to the Otago Central Rail Trail Trust.

In announcing the funding, Mr Nash said the community and charitable trusts who maintain the country’s “Great hours of volunteer work for their love of cycling and mountain biking, but they also relied on the government to step up with support to maintain and enhance the trails.

Steven Jeffery, chairman of Central Otago Clutha Trails, said the funds were earmarked for routine repairs and maintenance of both trails.

The trails brought health and economic benefit to locals, by providing a popular exercise option and bringing people into the community, he said.

“In the last two or three years, the trails have become significantly more popular.”