Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (Monday 5th July) visited County Cavan to open a series of new rural development projects and to review progress on forthcoming major projects as part of a nationwide tour to promote Our Rural Future.
Our Rural Future is the Government’s new rural development strategy, which aims to revitalise towns and villages, promote remote working, and ensure balanced regional development.
The projects that the Minister visited in Cavan today represent a multi-million investment by her Department with significant additional match funding provided locally.
As part of today’s whistle-stop tour of the county, Minister Humphreys:
- Opened the Kingscourt to Dún a Rí Forest Park Recreational Trail;
- Visited the site of the Virginia Civic Centre, which received almost €4 million in funding under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund;
- Opened the Virginia Lakeshore and Ballinagh River Amenity areas; and
- Opened the newly renovated Ballyjamesduff Courthouse, which will now be in use as a small community resource centre for the many community groups in the town, in particular for the growing youth population.
Speaking during her visit to the site of the Virginia Civic Centre, Minister Humphreys said:
“The Virginia Civic Centre project will be truly transformational for the town and its community and I am excited by the progress made by Cavan County Council in delivering on this landmark project.”
“The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, which provided almost €4 million in support for this project, and other schemes such as Town and Village Renewal and the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme, which supported a number of the other projects I am opening today, are key tools in delivering on the objectives of Our Rural Future, the most ambitious rural development policy in decades.”
“I will continue to strive within Government for greater ambition in terms of continued investment in rural Ireland to support the implementation of Our Rural Future.”
On Monday afternoon, Minister Humphreys also:
- Opened the Killykeen Way and Cavan Town Greenways; and
- Visited Townhall, Cavan, which has been fully refurbished and will provide arts and culture space for the county which will complement existing provision for culture in the region. The Minister allocated funding to the Townhall in 2017 under the Arts and Culture Capital Scheme in one of her previous Ministerial roles. Further funding was supplied by Cavan County Council and the EU’s PEACE IV Programme.
The Minister observed at the opening of the Cavan Town Greenway:
“Projects like this and the Killykeen Way and Cavan Town Greenway further enhance our already superb tourism offering in this region and provide facilities that communities can also use and enjoy safely.”
“Adventure tourism is a growing segment in the overall market and facilities such as greenways, combined with Cavan’s unrivalled reputation as the land of lakes and the investment we are providing in lake and river amenities, provide an excellent platform to help rebuild our tourism industry in this region as we begin to move past the pandemic.”
“These projects will be brilliant for local people in Cavan but they will also attract new visitors to the county and boost the local economy.”
Please find full details of the investments and projects launched/visited as part of the Minister’s engagements in Cavan.
Investment amounts and funding schemes
|Kingscourt to Dún a Rí Forest Park Recreational Trail||– Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme||– €144,329|
|Virginia Civic Centre||– Rural Regeneration and Development Fund||– €3,963,525|
|Virginia Lakeshore Amenity||– Town and Village Renewal Scheme||– €218,618|
|Ballyjamesduff Courthouse||– Town and Village Renewal Scheme||– €100,000|
|and||– LEADER Programme||– €99,312|
|Ballyjamesduff Tennis Court MUGA Pitch||– LEADER Programme||– €139,064|
|Ballinagh River Amenity||– Town and Village Renewal Scheme||– €40,000|
|Cavan Town Greenway||– Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme||– €200,000|
|Killykeen Way Greenway||– Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme||– €323,130|
Virginia Civic Centre
The Virginia Civic Centre project was amongst the successful projects from the second call for Category 1 applications to the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, announced in November 2019. The total cost of the project is €5,284,700. The amount of RRDF funding allocated was €3,963,525.
The project involves the creation of an integrated civic centre, incorporating a new library, additional theatre space and shared multipurpose civic events space both indoor and outdoor. It also includes the development of a new three storey building comprising a community library, meeting rooms and events areas which can be used by the library and theatre, also a tourism information service.
The adjacent former Parochial House will be transformed to provide a box office for the theatre, office space and a digital suite, with the upstairs converted to a multi-use space. The existing theatre will be upgraded and linked to the other spaces. A civic space will be created which will also provide a pedestrian link to the lake area, and 31 car parking spaces provided.
Work has now started on the site and the project should be complete by late 2022.
Cavan Town Greenway
This project had a total cost of €257,466 and received funding in 2018 of €200,000 from ORIS.
Works included the development of a new Greenway along the old railway line, located in Fáilte Ireland’s designated area under “Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands”. This opens up this area on a national and international scale.
The project is also part of a strategic plan to connect with the Cavan and Leitrim Railway Greenway and the Ulster Canal Greenway along with linkage to other cycling and walking trails within Cavan.
Killykeen Way Greenway
This project has a total cost of €359,034 and received approval for funding of €323,130 earlier this year under ORIS 2020.
The works will improve the access to the new “Killykeen Way” a greenway standard 12km cycle and walking trail linking Killykeen Forest Park to the village of Killeshandra.
Feature image courtesy of @DeptRCD