Three senior ministers outline supports for rural communities at packed event in Thomastown
THREE senior Cabinet ministers rolled into South Kilkenny today as part of a Government campaign to raise awareness of the supports available to rural communities.
The Concert Hall in Thomastown was filled to capacity as Ministers Michael Ring (Rural and Community Development), Richard Bruton (Communications, Climate Action and the Environment) and Charlie Flanagan (Justice) spoke at the first of a series of ‘Rural Opportunity’ briefing sessions for local communities. Local TD and Minister of State John Paul Phelan was also in attendance.
The event was mostly attended by local community groups that are interested in accessing Government supports.
Attendees were shown a series of video case studies of successful Government funded projects from the enterprise, tourism, community and artistic sectors. A number of individuals and community groups from the south-east area spoke about delivering their successful project and how they were able to access funding. The briefing also provided an update on how to access funding for rural, or community, projects.
Minister Ring said the case studies presented at the events demonstrate what rural funding supports can achieve for communities.
“These events are about people telling their stories of how, with Government support and collaboration, they are making life better in rural communities,” he said.
“I want as many people as possible to take inspiration from these stories and then go and access the supports available. We want to illustrate how the Government is committed to supporting enterprise and job creation, tourism, culture, community and the Irish language. We are committed to supporting a vibrant and resilient rural Ireland – a place where people will want to live and work – and we are doing that through funding and in partnership with local people.”
Thomastown has been granted a total of €2,080,486 as part of a significant Town Regeneration project.
The Government funding allows for the redevelopment of a community centre – converting a former sports hall into a public library and digital enterprise hub.
It will also be used for public realm works in Lowe and Logan streets and for the renovation of the former court house into a Craft and Design Centre, in conjunction with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland.
Minister Ring praised the efforts of local community groups in Thomastown and throughout Kilkenny, which have so have so received a total of €8.6 million of the €86 million that his department has allocated nationally so far.
He added: “In these uncertain times it is even more important that we as a Government help communities in rural Ireland to build resilience. The funding is there to make this happen.”
*To find out more about the Government rural funding supports, visit www.gov.ie/ruralopportunity