Unfortunately for Birr and Ferbane, their applications for funding under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) were turned down by the County Council in favour of Banagher this year. "Ferbane Regeneration" and "Birr Creative Court" were the two rejected applications.
Banagher will receive €395,250. Match funding has to be found as well and this will come to €131,750. In total €527,000 will be spent.
Birr Creative Court is a proposal to turn the long-empty, former Courthouse in the town into a Creative Hub which would transform the building, generate a decent amount of activity in that area, and be a flourishing space for creative people and those who wish to explore their creative selves. A very stylish brochure of the project was launched last year in the local library by Offaly Chief Executive Anna Marie Delaney.
The rejection of RRDF funding is a setback but the people behind Creative Court are determined to keep pushing ahead. They have also made a submission to the Council for restoration works to the Court House, costing €120,000. The Department of Rural and Community Development is currently reviewing this application and a decision is expected in the near future, by the end of January at the latest.
They might take heart from The Green, which for many years was mooted for public realm enhancements, but only now will it get the makeover it so richly deserves. Under the Town and Village Renewal scheme, funding of €200,000 will be given to the Council to carry out the public realm enhancements on The Green. Match funding of €50,000 is to be found. The Council estimates that it will complete its enhancement work on The Green by the end of the third quarter of 2021.
Public realm enhancements amounting to €150,000 will also be carried out in Crinkill, as will enhancements of €150,000 in Shinrone.
Public realm works of €25,000 each will be carried out at Clareen, Lusmagh and Killeigh.
€45,000 is going towards Broadband connection points in the county.
€28,000 is going towards Geodome Tents to be used in Birr festivals.
Disappointingly, an application in respect of a link from Kinnitty Village to the Mountain Bike Trails system was unsuccessful. Locals say it is very important there is a link from the village to the mountain bike trails.
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