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€1m allocation for Ennistymon innovation centre

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A multi-service innovation centre in the heart of Ennistymon has been allocated €1m.

It is one of eighteen projects nationally that were successful applicants under the Government’s €1 billion Rural Regeneration and Development Fund which were announced by Taoiseach Leo Vardakar and Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring. The aim of the scheme is to bring new life into Irish towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000 by allocating funding to communities over the next ten years and is part of the Project 2040 plan for Ireland.

€1,023,300 will go towards the conversion of an existing building on Parliament Street in Ennistymon into a Multi-Service Innovation Centre which will comprise a Digital Hub with business broadband, a family resource centre and community amenities. The funding will cover 75 percent of the development. Clare County Council have confirmed the centre will be open in late 2019.

Nationally more than 290 projects applied for the first round of funding which focused on infrastructural improvement, economic development, rural regeneration, heritage and tourism. In Clare, there were 13 applicants in Category 1 for the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund. The next batch of successful projects will be confirmed in January.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said the development of a Multi-Service Innovation Centre in Ennistymon is a key target under the Clare Rural Development Strategy, which was launched in late 2017. “This new centre project is going to have a significant, positive economic impact for the town of Ennistymon and wider North Clare area by contributing to employment creation and local regeneration. We therefore, welcome the support of Government under this Fund which makes the project viable into the future. We hope that Clare will benefit further under this €1 billion fund in the months and years ahead.”

Cathaoirleach Michael Begley added, “I welcome the fact that Clare has benefited in the initial tranche of funding under this scheme and I look forward to Clare featuring in the next announcement about funded projects in early 2019.”

Fine Gael TD, Pat Breen wished to assure unsuccessful applicants in the first round to remain hopeful. “To those hearing or reading about the projects we are announcing and who have a vision for their region or community that the fund could assist with, I say begin your preparations. To those who have applied to the fund and who were not successful, I assure you the process is not complete”.

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