independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

€500k green light for new community centre

Pictured at the launch of Nagle Rice Community Centre/Sports Hall plans were (front) Jerry Casey, Don Myers, Cllr Michael O'Shea, (back) Michael McCarthy, Linus Burke and Sr Canisius at the Presentation Sisters Field, Milltown in September 2012.

WORK on a new community centre in Milltown can begin after South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd (SKDP) was given the green light last week to approve funding of €500,000 for the project.

WORK on a new community centre in Milltown can begin after South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd (SKDP) was given the green light last week to approve funding of €500,000 for the project.

While a further €200,000 is needed locally, bridging loans from social investment fund Clann Credo means that funding for the multi-purpose community centre is effectively in place. With the site provided by the Presentation Sisters, planning secured and the contract tendering process already completed, work can proceed with immediate effect.

It's the latest infrastructural project to be given the go-ahead in the mid-Kerry town with work already underway on new primary and secondary schools. The Nagle Rice Community Centre will be built on a greenfield site next to the new Milltown Presentation Secondary School.

SKDP CEO Noel Spillane said he was delighted with the announcement adding that it was fully deserving following the hard work by all involved in bringing the project to fruition.

"The SKDP through the Rural Development Leader Programme is delighted to support such a worthwhile project, particularly as Milltown has experienced significant growth over the past decade," he said.

"There have been 11 new housing estates built in the Milltown area but there has been no corresponding infrastructural development to cater for young and old so this is very, very important investment," the CEO added.

Last week's announcement follows an intensive two-and-a-half year campaign by Nagle Rice Community Centre Ltd which was formed to fund-raise and manage the project. In 2012 volunteers collected over €60,000 during an extensive door-to-door campaign and several events are planned over the coming months to help bridge a €140,000 deficit.

Treasurer for Nagle Rice Community Centre Ltd Mike Larkin said the announcement was a massive boost for the community but work to raise funds will continue.

"We have received huge support to get to this stage, from the Presentation Sisters who provided the site, to the many people who gave generously to the collection which was held during very bad times," he said.

"Our job now is to continue fundraising and a number of events are in the pipeline, including a night at the dogs, and we will be asking for all in the community to come out and support us," he added.

In making the announcement, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said the project will now go back to the SKDP board for final approval in line with the EU's 'bottom-up' approach to rural development.

Milltown is officially Kerry's fastest-growing area having witnessed a 250 percent rise from a population of just 332 in 2002 to 838 residents in the 2011 census.

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