Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has officially opened a wide range of projects across County Roscommon which have received funding of €7.5 million from her Department as part of Our Rural Future.
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 on the Roscommon side of Athlone, where she officially opened Monksland Way, a recreation walkway which details the heritage of the area. The project was supported with €200,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS).
Speaking at Monksland Way, Minister Humphreys said, “the community here in Monksland have done a tremendous job in developing this new walkway which will be used by people of all ages. This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when people work collaboratively for the benefit of the wider community. This type of investment, through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, is central to what ‘Our Rural Future’ is all about.”
The Minister then went on to visit the site of the Life Sciences Hub Projec , which received over €2.75 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. The project is due to be completed next year and involves the repurposing of a disused building into a life sciences and co-working hub.
The Minister then officially opened the Portrunny Harbour Upgrade , which received a total of €250,000 in funding – €200,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and €50,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.
Speaking at the official opening, the Minister commented, “if we learned one thing during Covid-19, it’s how much we appreciate the great outdoors in terms of supporting both our physical and mental well-being. I have no doubt this project will attract thousands of people to the beautiful Lough Ree this summer – and I want to particularly commend the Local Development Association in Portunny for the work they have done in delivering this Harbour Upgrade.”
The Minster’s next stop of the day was to Athleague to view the works carried out with the €300,000 investment under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and CLÁR. The funding provided for the development of a community and economic action plan as well as the development of a ‘hot desk’ facility in the local community centre and for the purchase of equipment to facilitate outdoor activities in the village.
The Minister then went on to Roscommon Town, where she officially opened Loughnaneane Park which received funding from of €340,000 from her Department.
Speaking at the official opening of Loughnaneane Park, the Minister said, “I’m really pleased my Department has supported you with €200,000 under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund. This has allowed you to enhance your existing trails, upgrade the boardwalks and install a bandstand and these wonderful sculpture pieces. And on top of that, you secured €140,000 under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme to improve the facilities here. So that’s a total investment of €340,000 for this park, which is a wonderful amenity that will benefit people of all ages.”
The Minister continued her visit to Roscommon with her next stop in Castlerea. Here the Minister turned the sod at the An Chistín Food Hub to commence phase 2 of the development of a new food innovation hub that will be used by start-up businesses and for training purposes. The new hub will produce 10 new food enterprises and create at least 50 new jobs. The project was allocated funding of over €2.4 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Speaking in Castlerea, the Minister said, “this is a transformative project that will deliver the necessary infrastructure to ensure the An Chistín Food Hub becomes a major driver of food innovation, enterprise and job creation for the region. This project is an excellent example of how community and state organisations can work together to develop and deliver an outstanding initiative that will bring about real economic and social benefits in their regions. This Hub represents not just a project with massive potential for boosting the agri-food offering in this region but also one that speaks directly to the Government’s ambition for Rural Ireland.”
The Minister’s final stop on this visit to Roscommon was to Boyle. Here she officially opened an exhibition at King House which received over €2 million in funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
Speaking about her visit to Roscommon, the Minister said, “I was really delighted to be back in Roscommon – It was exactly one year ago for the sod turning on the National Famine Museum in Strokestown which was a really wonderful day. And the projects that I visited today received an overall investment of over €7.5 million. Supporting local communities to shape their future is a key focus of the Government’s new Rural Development Policy, Our Rural Future.”