28 May 2022

AT LONG LAST: €500,000 arrives for upgrade of Midland Harbour

AT LONG LAST: €500,000 arrives for upgrade of Midland Harbour

Signing the agreement on behalf of the Kilbeggan Harbour Committee is Kitty Flynn in her 96th year with a young at heart attitude that is absolutely amazing.

Final approval for a grant of €500,000 from the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications was recently received for the upgrade and retrofit of Kilbeggan Harbour Building.

This application was jointly sponsored by Westmeath County Council in conjunction with Kilbeggan Grand Canal Company.

The funding was awarded from the Just Transition Fund 2020(JTF) which provides funds for projects capable of sustainable employment in Green Enterprise and supporting communities transitioning to a low carbon economy.

The amount of €500,000 is 85% of the expected overall cost, the balance being co-founded jointly by Westmeath County Council and Kilbeggan Harbour Committee.

''Complying with all the criteria laid out by Just Transition Fund was a complex and involved process. Sincere thanks is due to Barry Kehoe, Director of Services Westmeath County Council and his team for getting this grant to its final approval stage and without whom it would not have been possible. It is now expected that a Project Manager will be appointed to take charge of implementing and overseeing the work to its final completion,'' said chairman of the Kilbeggan Harbour committee Dan Scally.

This is the third important phase of the Harbour project which begun in 1989 with the long term objective of re-watering of the Kilbeggan branch line. The first phase was the restoration of the Harbour Building and basin completed in the year 2000 with the aid of a FAS Scheme. The second phase was the green way linking the Dublin-Galway cycle track at Streamstown to the main line of the Grand Canal of Ballycommon completed in 2020.

''This brings total inward investment on the project to date in excess of €3 million and is very significant as an amenity for the local and wider community particularly during the lockdown period.

The upgrade will ensure the viability and the low carbon imprint of the building for generations into the future, ''concluded Mr Scally.

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