As featured in the Wexford People on Tuesday 2nd February 2021.


COMMUNITY groups across the county have received a total of €1.3 million in grant aid to carry out a diverse range of projects in 2021.

Biodiversity protection, walking track developments, community centre construction and arts based projects are among the 42 developments which will be delivered by mainly voluntary groups thanks to funding from the LEADER Programme.

‘Wexford Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and Wexford Local Development (WLD) are delighted to have played a role in supporting communities to realise such a range of exciting projects,’ said Brian Kehoe, CEO of Wexford Local Development.

‘We are continually impressed by the capacity of voluntary groups to undertake significant projects for the betterment of their community. 2020’s grant awards are of particular significance, given the difficulties caused by Covid-19 restrictions, which these 42 community groups have overcome to pull together successful applications.’ Those receiving funding included groups working on innovative and exciting projects which will support the protection and promotion of biodiversity in their areas.

Some groups will develop or enhance their community gardens and one group will install a water irrigation system to serve their community facilitates. A proposal to rollout biodiversity training for community groups was also approved, which will see participating villages supported to develop a biodiversity protection and development plan for their own area.

The training will be available free of charge to communities later this year. A further 13 applications proposing the development of new and existing walking tracks and trails were approved, increasing free recreation facilities for community use.

Wexford Walking Trails (WWT) will receive funding to implement a countywide pilot project, installing interactive way marker signs and pedestrian counters on a number of their walking trails. Tintern Trails Development Committee was approved grant aid for a training programme which aims to create greater awareness of the biodiversity found in the Tintern woodlands. This training is the first step towards the committee offering educational walks in these popular woodland walking trails.

A number of applications were approved for groups developing community facilities, including grant aid for the construction of the new Crossabeg Ballymurn Community Centre, the development of community rooms at Kilanerin GAA Club and the fit out and purchase of equipment for the recently constructed Wexford Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre in Maudlintown, Wexford.

‘Wexford Rape Crisis is very appreciative to Wexford Local Development and Wexford LCDC for funding received via the LEADER programme,’ said Clare Williams, Manager of the WRCC. ‘This money has allowed the service to fit-out their new premises in Maudlintown, offering services to people in County Wexford affected by domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. Wexford Rape Crisis has been able to create a modern, therapeutic and welcoming environment for adults and young people who have been traumatised by domestic and sexual violence.’

Wexford’s arts and culture sector did not miss out, with approval granted to fund the creation of a street art trail in Enniscorthy town, and an interactive community education and outreach programme to promote arts and music appreciation, devised by the National Opera House, which will be rolled out in 2021.

This training will be made available to children from preschool to third level as well as classes for adults.