8 July 2022
By Tom Collins
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins has extended congratulations to communities in Castlelyons and separately at Whiddy Island on the opening of their respective Community Centres which benefited from the 2014-2020 LEADER Programme.
A grant of €243,951k was allocated to Whiddy Island Development Association for the construction of a new Community Centre on the island. The new facility consists of a multipurpose hall, toilets, showers, kitchenette and a community tearoom with an outside seating area, as well as landscaping, car parking and solar panels for the provision of hot water. Comhar Na nOileán in partnership with Cork County Council is the local development company responsible for implementing the LEADER programme on the Islands.
In Castlelyons, the Community Centre received LEADER funding of € 179,481k to renovate the community hall. Built in 1971, the original hall required substantial upgrades including insulation, improvements to disability access and health and safety upgrades. Works also included the installation of LED lighting around the stage, a sound gantry and a new meeting room. The project was implemented in cooperation with the Avondhu/Blackwater Partnership CLG.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins commented,
“Community Centres provide a hub for communities for a vast array of social, recreational, educational and sporting activities. Both of these projects epitomise the role of LEADER in improving the daily lives of people in rural areas. Working closely with Local Development Companies and the LCDCs, Whiddy Island Development Association demonstrates an excellent collaborative approach to the development of a LEADER project, with a strong community vision. While in Castlelyons, the refurbishment of their Community Hall shows the dedication and community spirit of the local area and the co-operative approach taken to fundraising and working with the LCDC and Cork County Council. It’s heartening to see the results of these collaborative efforts coming to fruition.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, noted,
“The LEADER Programme supports rural development projects at local level to revitalise rural areas and create jobs while supporting a diverse range of community projects, from rural tourism to new enterprises and community amenities. Implemented by Local Action Groups, sub-groups of our Local Community Development Committees in North, South & West Cork, they work at a local level and recognise where supports will yield maximum benefit to that community.
These examples of LEADER funded projects underline both Cork County Council’s cohesive approach to rural development and the range of supports available to rural entrepreneurs and community organisations in Cork County.”
With total funding of €13.93 million allocated to Cork County by the Department of Rural and Community Development, the programme, delivered by six Local Development Companies working in partnership with Cork County Councils LCDC (Local Community Development Committees), has supported a total of 249 projects across Cork County. The 2014-2020 LEADER Programme is co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.