by Donogh Moore
€54,087 is set to be provided to five projects locally under the Community Enhancement Programme. Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D. announced recently that a number of projects around the country are set to receive grant aid, with five community projects in the locality set to benefit from this. Ballinasloe Rugby Club received €10,675 for a new 3G AstroTurf training facility and pitch. Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre, on Society Street, received €12,810 for building maintenance. The maintenance required for the theatre entail repairs to the ceiling of the front offices. Due to a water leak, the ceiling was damaged and is currently still leaking.
A portion will also be spent on refurbishing the bathroom facilities backstage. Ballinasloe Social Services, located in Brackernagh, received €14,602 for the development of their community services centre. This money is set to go towards the establishment of a new dining room in the centre, as well as refurbishing bathrooms off that. The idea originally came from staff, as they were having to use the facility’s day room as a makeshift dining room, but now they can finally separate the two.
Ballinasloe Tidy Towns received €1,000 for photography equipment, which is set to help their online and social media campaigns. Chairperson Tom Madden indicated that the new equipment will aid their biodiversity project, which first started in 2017. Not only that, but through their work with youth groups, it gives the volunteers a chance to get involved with hobbies such as bird watching, and the camera will prove useful in logging these sightings. Ballinasloe Cancer Support, found on Main Street, received €15,000 in order to refurbish the ground floor of the building, as well as to make the building wheelchair accessible. The centre, which was founded in 2010, aims to provide support to people and families dealing with cancer.
Director of Services, Maura Fahy, said that she was “delighted to hear” about the influx of grant aid. The money is set to go towards general refurbishment of the building, which includes the building of wheelchair accessible services, as well as the construction of an extension to the back of the building. “After previous fund-raising efforts, in which Coral Leisure Centre helped us greatly, we amassed nearly €6,000 in the space of a month.” It was the support centre’s first time since establishment nearly 10 years ago, that they’ve applied for government relief. Maura said: “Receiving this money was great, but hopefully we can reapply again in the future, and the next application will be met with the same empathy as the first.”
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins welcomed the allocations: “Support for these projects will provide a great boost for the locality. It is so important that we continue to support the work of volunteers who are so giving of their time in order to further develop our community.” All of the groups still have to fundraise a considerable amount of match funding to draw down their grant aid as typically under the terms of the letter of offer – promoters own matching finances can range from 45% to 65%. For more information regarding the Community Enhancement Programme and how to apply, see the Department of Community and Rural Development’s official website at: drcd.gov.ie
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