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01 Dec 2021

Work to commence on new community centre in Offaly in 2022

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An architect's impression of the new community centre planned for Killeigh.

Work will commence on a new community centre in Offaly in 2022.

Killeigh Community Centre Development Association have ambitious plans to commence the construction of the new centre in early 2022.

To raise finance to ensure the project can be completed, a massive fundraiser was launched in June 2021. Win a House Enfield has been organised by the committee and a draw for a newly built A rated 3-bedroom house in Enfield to the value of €355,000 will be won by one lucky winner.

In October the committee have decided to give the lucky winner of the draw the option of taking a cash prize of €300,000 OR the house. The committee feels this would widen the interest in the draw and maximise the returns for the community centre.  

Enfield is an excellent location in the commuter belt around Dublin and was selected as it is attractive to a wider population in hoping to maximise sales of tickets. The large A rated 3-bedroom house is situated within walking distance of the village of Enfield, Co. Meath. Royal Oaks Estate delivers the very best of both worlds. A host of village amenities, the peace of the breath-taking Co. Meath countryside, community life which is at the heart of the thriving village of Enfield, alongside the convenience of being so close to Dublin which will appeal to many commuters. So the winner will truly win an exceptional prize.

Tickets are priced at €100 and open to all to enter. The draw will run until January 3, 2022. Tickets sale are limited to 15,000. All details can be found on www.winahouseinenfield.com or @facebook Win a house in Enfield. Also visit their own page www.killeighcommunity centre.com or @facebook Killeigh Community Centre Development Association for regular updates.

This 13 person committee first came together in November 2017 with the main aim to provide a community centre for the village. In addition, the committee conducted a local needs survey within the community and listened to the community and local businesses, realising the need of a community centre in order to enhance economic and social life in Killeigh and its surrounding area.

The proposed Community Centre is located on the site of the former Macra Hall, and was opened in 1965, by the local Macra Na Feirme branch.

Sadly the premises has become a little run down in latter years, but as a community centre located just on the outskirts of the village, it can again become the centre and heart of the community. 

Killeigh is a village in Co. Offaly located 8km south of Tullamore on the N80 national secondary road. The village is located in the parish of Killeigh which is the 2nd largest parish in Ireland. The community represents all that is good about rural Ireland insofar that it takes pride of it surrounding areas and there is a strong sense of unity amongst each other.

The project here is to further enhance this community spirit. “We recognise that the biggest asset that a community has is its people and losing them is the biggest drain to the area in terms of economy, sociodemographic and future development,” said committee PRO, Martina Gorman.

The committee has worked hard over the last four years to make this project a reality. They have put a formal structure in place for the committee by setting up as a Company Limited by guarantee and obtained charitable status. They have successfully put all the legal and statutory requirements in place regarding ownership of the site and building, planning permission, fire safety and disabled accessible certificates. The design is finalised, the drawing and specifications are completed and the project is “shovel ready” once the funding is secured.

With regard financing the project, this will be in the region of €850,000 to complete phase 1. They were delighted to be approved for Leader Funding and with monies already raised had plans to continue fundraising in 2020/2021 to start the build his year. However Covid put these plans on hold. Also having been unsuccessful in securing monies under the 2020 Rural and Community Development programme (which they are revisiting this year), the committee were then faced with a shortfall of funding. Sometimes when one door closes one looks at other avenues and that’s exactly what this committee did and they went back to the drawing board .They have spent the first quarter of 2021 planning this large-scale fundraiser and it is likely to be the biggest fundraiser any of this 13 person volunteer committee will ever likely to be involved with. The ultimate goal if all goes well is to commence Phase 1 build in early 2022.

The Community Centre development is in 2 phases; this is to ensure they can get a fully-functioning multi space centre open first. They see this as a realistic goal, and feel if the project were to drag on for longer, they would lose people’s confidence in being able to deliver what they promised. Once Phase 1 is completed and the centre is open, they will then reflect again on what the community needs, what is economically viable and what is happening in the wider community.

The PR Group (a sub- group of the committee) has also been actively involved in the “People of Killeigh & Beyond” series that has been running over the past number of weeks where people from the local community have been sharing their stories about growing up and living in Killeigh and the surrounding area. Each story is published weekly on the facebook page and the Tribune and is getting fantastic feedback.

While each story is very different, what links each one is the contribution each person makes to their local community and how that contribution enriches not only their own lives but also that of the community they live and work in. In Killeigh, the committee are more determined than ever to get their own Community Centre up and running so as to have a focal point for village life and to serve the community needs. They would like to acknowledge and thank all those who have taken part so far and anyone still wishing to do would be very welcome to share their story.

If you would like to learn more about the development of the proposed Killeigh Community Centre and how you may be able to assist please visit the website www.killeighcommunitycentre.com 

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