Minister Humphreys is pictured in Manorhamilton
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, visited a wide range of projects across Co Leitrim, yesterday, which have received funding of over €5 million from her Department.
All of the projects opened as part of the Minister’s visit received investment under the Government’s ambitious rural development policy, Our Rural Future.
Minister Humphreys began the day in Ballinamore, where her first visit of the day was to the remote working hub at Ballinamore Enterprise Centre. The hub was one of 11 in Leitrim that received a combined investment of almost €250,000 in funding under the Connected Hubs Call last year.
The Minister continued to The Junction project in Ballinamore, which has received over €2.47 million in funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. The project will regenerate two listed buildings and a derelict site in the centre of Ballinamore to provide a digital hub and co-working space, an artistic space for the promotion of local arts and crafts and a youth facility.
Speaking at The Junction, Minister Humphreys said: “This is a major project for the town of Ballinamore that has received almost €2.5 million under my Department’s Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
“When complete in April 2023, it will have a transformative impact on the town – providing a Digital Hub, an artistic space for a new Leitrim Arts School and a new state of the art youth facility.
“I wish to congratulate Leitrim County Council and the community on your efforts and commitment in getting the project to a stage where construction has commenced.”
The Minister then went on to officially open The Island Theatre, which received over €200,000 in funding in total through the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme and LEADER. The theatre is a state-of-the-art performance venue that seat over 240 people for stage performances and film screenings.
Opening the theatre, Minister Humphreys said: “Developments such as are so vital to the community. They increase the social and cultural capital of our towns, and help to boost economic activity in the area - making our rural towns more attractive places to live and work.”
The Minister then continued to Drumshanbo where she officially opened the Millrace Enhancement, which received over €98,000 in funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. This funding provided for enhancements to the car park and boundary wall at the Millrace River where a walkway was contrasted in 2019.
Speaking at the official opening, the Minister commented: “Drumshanbo is a small town – but it’s a town with a really big heart. And I know this project will attract so many more visitors to Drumshanbo and provide a real boost to the local community.
“People of all ages will be able to walk and cycle along the Millrace River – clear their heads, meet friends and family which is so good for our mental and physical health.”
The Minister’s next stop of the day was to Dromahair to view the location of the proposed regeneration project which will see an investment of €2.4 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. The project will incorporate an open library, a new community centre, hot desk facilities and four housing units.
Speaking in Dromahair, the Minister said: “This is a transformative project for the town that will combat dereliction, provide essential community services and create a vibrant and attractive town centre.
“I wish to congratulate you on your swift progress in progressing the project and look forward to visiting Dromahair when the project is completed.”
The Minister then went on to see a new car park in Manorhamilton which received €96,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. This project converted an existing dormant site in Manorhamilton town centre into a car park that has 28 car parking spaces.
The Minister then continued her visit in Leitrim with her next stop in Glenfarne. Here the Minister launched the Glenfarne Wood Thematic Area Masterplan which was granted funding of €20,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The Minister then continued to Rossinver where she officially opened Fowley’s Falls, a 3 kilometre, riverside and cascading falls development which received funding of over €180,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2020.
Speaking at the opening, the Minister said: “I know you’ve heard about Our Rural Future – that’s our five year rural development policy. It’s designed to enhance and revitalise our rural communities.
“When you look around us here today – it’s clear our policy is having a hugely positive impact.
“And for me, it is particularly welcome that it is my Department’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme that has supported your efforts with over €180,000 in funding towards this wonderful project.
“The Fowley Falls Trail project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when people work collaboratively for the benefit of the wider community.”
The Minister’s next stop was to visit the Access to Sea project at Tullaghan. Tullaghan has the single shortest stretch of county coastline in Ireland and the funding of €198,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2021 will provide a safe recreational infrastructure to access Tullaghan beach once complete.
The Minister’s final stop on this visit to Leitrim was to Kinlough. Here she visited the Kinlough Enterprise Centre and Kinlough Hub which received over €175,000 in funding combined with €89,600 from the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and €86,303 through LEADER. House which received over €2 million in funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Speaking at her final stop in the Minister said: “The work undertaken here in Kinlough is a prime example of how a small investment can have a significant impact locally. Providing remote working spaces enables workers to stay local, and makes Kinlough an attractive place to live. I have had the opportunity to see the wonderful work and creativity that is taking place in communities’ right across the county. I have been proud to play a part in this effort through the funding provided by my Department through Our Rural Future – the Government’s transformative rural development policy.”
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