An important part of our work in marginalised and isolated communities under the Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP), is to assist and empower communities to develop local projects, source funding for their activities and to develop sustainable local facilities that respond to the needs of the area.
In the North of the county, we have been working with a cluster of local community groups in the Coolgreaney area to assist them to leverage funds into the community for the development of activities and facilities to improve the quality of life in the rural area, which has traditionally had high levels of unemployment and suffered from a lack of services. A local community survey is also underway in the area, and will provide valuable information for future community development plans.
One of the major sources of funding, to date, for projects in the Coolgreaney area has been the Raheenleagh Wind Farm Community Fund, which is situated close to Coolgreaney on the Wexford/Wicklow border. Funding has been secured for projects such as the development of community buildings, equipment for young people’s activities, as well as village renewal projects. The fund has provided a great boost to community and voluntary sector activity in the area.
Cheques from the Raheenleagh Wind Farm Community Fund were presented to groups who submitted successful project proposals, on Thursday 21st of April in the May Byrne Trust House in the village of Coolgreaney.
The funds will be open to applications every year and for the operational lifetime of the wind farm. “We opened our community fund in 2015 and it is clear from the number and quality of applications received that this funding will be of significant benefit to the local community into the future” said a member of the adjudicating panel.
The 2016 round of funding will open to accept applications in the autumn. For more information in relation to this please keep an eye on their website
All applications were adjudicated by a local community panel. The successful groups for 2015 funding were; Ballyfad Community Hall Committee, Croghan Athletics Club, MayByrne Trust, Coolgreany Amateur Dramatic Society, Rathpierce Group, Ballycoog District Development Association, Coolgreany Community Arts Group, The Gap Arts Festival, Ballythomas Community Field & Area Development Group, Coolgreany Community Coffee Shop, Old Kilninor Historic Society and Ballintemple National School.
Peter O’Hagan from ESB and Nicola Wall from Coillte were on hand to present the cheques. Also pictured is Wexford Local Development’s Gorey District Community Development Officer, Donal Dunbar, who can be contacted at our Gorey office on Clonattin Corner on 053 9155852