An allocation of €100,000 is pending from Wexford Local Development to bring Enniscorthy's Church Institute back into use. High profile building on the corner of Church Street and Castle Street has been empty since fire caused substantial damage ten years ago.
But now the trustees of the institute are poised to carry out a major refurbishment programme which will breathe fresh life into the premises. Fingers are crossed that the Government will approve the six figure grant earmarked by WLD for the purpose and allow work to commence.
'The Church Institute is part of the town,' observed Cllr. Paddy Kavanagh, confirming that Wexford Local Development has included the project in spending proposals. The final decision now rests with the Department of the Environment, which is expected to give its decision shortly.
Church Institute refurbishment committee member Robert Syme stressed that the intention is to make the redbrick building available for general use. The €100,000 from the WLD will be added to support from Enniscorthy Town Council and money paid out by an insurance company in the wake of the fire.
The roof has already been repaired and a significant patch of dry rot has been tackled. Now the plan is to rejuvenate the place which used to provide a base for a list of organisations which included the ICA, the camera club and the choral society.
Once the refurbishment is complete, two large meeting rooms will be provided, each capable of seating 200 people. The Town Council has already put ramps on the footpath outside to make access easier for wheelchair users.
Now the plan is to install a lift inside which will allow people with physical disabilities reach the upper storey without difficulty.