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06 Jul 2022

Purchase of convent in Offaly nearing completion as plans for Community Hub progress

Purchase of convent in Offaly nearing completion as plans for Community Hub progress

Purchase of convent in Offaly nearing completion as plans for Community Hub progress

Following the awarding of substantial funding, the Ferbane Regeneration project is now moving ahead.

Director of Services Stephane Duclot told the May meeting of Offaly County Council that last year the Rural Regeneration Development Project received a grant of €546,400 with 20% match funding (from Property Tax) required from Offaly County Council.

He said this Category 2 successful grant provides for the following project elements:
- Purchase of St. Joseph’s Convent.
- The design and preparation for planning of St Joseph’s Convent as a multipurpose community/enterprise hub.
- An appraisal of a library expansion for Ferbane and an appraisal of vacant properties for this possible expansion.
- Employment of a project manager.

“The official funding agreement,” commented Stephane, “for this grant between Offaly County Council and the Department of Rural and Community Development was signed on 4th April, 2022.” He said this project has allowed for the employment of a project manager which Offaly County Council will proceed with.

He pointed out that the purchase of St Joseph’s Convent has well progressed and is nearing completion. The next stage will be procuring the design consultants for this project.

The Project is being led by Offaly County Council, and match funding from Council funds will bring the total to €683,000.

Cllr. Declan Harvey said the investment will “enhance the town’s potential as an attractive and sustainable place to live and work.”

Cllr Peter Ormond praised the work of the local development groups. “An Síolán, Ferbane Tidy Towns, and local businesses and the wider community that led to the success of the application.”

He said this project will allow the rural town centre and its community to further develop and prosper following the challenge of the decarbonisation programme. “This investment in key buildings is very important.”

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