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22/09/2021

One Offaly town to get €500,000 'creative' funding

One Offaly town to get €500,000 'creative' funding

Creative Edenderry Shoes Mural

Creative Lives, a charity which supports and encourages people to be creative in their everyday lives, will work in partnership with Offaly County Council on an ambitious three-year project to galvanise the creative and cultural scene in Edenderry.

This comes with the announcement of a Creative Places Award from The Arts Council for the town worth €500,000.

This project aims to build a greater sense of community and belonging, enabling social inclusion and cohesion through shared cultural activities.

In addition to Creative Lives and Offaly County Council Arts Office, the project steering group brings together Edenderry Municipal District, Creative Edenderry, North Offaly Community Development Network, Edenderry Community Cabin and Offaly County Library Service.

The ambition of the partners is to facilitate the emergence of a strong cultural identity for the area and support sustainable networks and opportunities for cultural engagement and participation. It will aim to achieve this through open, collaborative methods engaging with the community at grassroots level.

The work builds on recent initiatives delivered in partnership by Creative Lives and Offaly County Council Arts Office, which resulted in the creation of the Creative Edenderry community group and the ‘Shoes of Edenderry’ project this past year. The local community is enthusiastic about developing a cultural and creative environment, and this award will help to provide the support, skills and opportunities needed to deliver these and build a brighter future for the people of Edenderry.

“We are delighted to be significantly investing in these places in this focused manner. It is very important to us that public investment in the arts reaches and benefits more people in a sustained and meaningful way. We look forward to seeing the ambitious new projects that these inspiring communities create together and we are excited by the prospect of supporting them to celebrate and animate new places," Maureen Kennelly, Director, The Arts Council said.

Damien McGlynn, Ireland Director, Creative Lives, said: “The expansion of The Arts Council’s Creative Places programme is an incredibly exciting moment for communities across the country. The ambitious project we will be delivering in and around Edenderry with our partners will put people, place and participation at the centre of cultural life. Our organisation has spent 30 years supporting and encouraging people to be creative in their everyday lives and this project presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the many benefits of this to individuals and communities. Over the next three years we aim to galvanise the incredible creativity that exists among local people of all ages and backgrounds and build sustainable support for ongoing engagement in the area.”

Anna-Marie Delaney, Chief Executive, Offaly County Council said: “This exciting project comes at a crucial time in the planned development of Edenderry, aligning to the opportunities and aspirations expressed in the recently published Blundell Report and will link with the ambitious plans currently underway in anticipation of the development of much needed new library and art space in the centre of the town. The project will have a huge impact for the people of Edenderry over a number of years, and will enable community cohesion and social identity and pride for the people and place of Edenderry.”

Cllr. Liam Quinn, Cathaoirleach of Edenderry Municipal District, added: “As Cathaoirleach of Edenderry Municipal District, I am delighted to receive the news of the successful application for Edenderry Creative Places Award. The Members of Edenderry Municipal District, who have approved match funding for this project, are looking forward to its commencement and are encouraging all communities to get involved. The project will be delivered in partnership between Creative Lives, Offaly County Council, Edenderry Municipal District Council and local community groups in the town and will form a very important part of the community and cultural development within the District for the next three years.”

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