Friday 9 December 2016

Three time winner of the SuperValu TidyTowns Competition, Westport, share some of their secrets for success

Published 08/07/2016 | 11:20

Quay School, Westport in the Skate Park
Quay School, Westport in the Skate Park

Westport has enjoyed plenty of success in the SuperValu TidyTowns Competition down the years.

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Three times National Winners (2001, 2006 and 2008), the picturesque Mayo town has also carried off its share of regional and large town awards.

Liam Campion, Vice Chairperson of the SuperValu TidyTowns committee marvels at how winning really is a community effort:

“We have 20 people on the main committee and 140 or 150 volunteers. It’s the volunteers that drive everything.

Liam, who is manager of Kavanagh’s SuperValu in Westport, is proud that his store has sponsored TidyTown activities since the 1990s. An active member of the committee since 1998, Liam is in no doubt as to the secret of their success.

“A great example of community co-operation is our new skatepark. Rather than spending our award money down the years, we banked it and waited for a suitable project that would benefit everyone in the town. The skatepark made sense because it was low maintenance and would add to the social life in the area. I’m delighted the project was a real community effort. The town council gave us the land, we received a Leader grant and Westport Credit Union gave us a bridging loan. We added our own savings and now the town has a great new asset. It’s a real pleasure to see the buzz at this skatepark, with people bringing their grandkids to play and others cycling there along the Greenway. And it’s another attraction for tourists looking for an outdoor activity with their kids. So, all in all, it’s been a great addition to life in the town.”

Bride Moran, who is a past chairperson of the committee agrees with Liam and remarks on how the project is one which benefits the whole community.

“The skateboard park is probably the most important project. We used all our prize money to do a good project that would benefit everyone, not just any one group.”

The benefits of being involved are clear:

“Being noted as a SuperValu TidyTown really boosts tourism, it speaks for itself. The SuperValu TidyTowns is a magnet, it draws people in, and they want to be involved.” Liam adds.

Read more great stories celebrating 25 years of SuperValu TidyTowns in the online magazine above.

Sponsored by: SuperValu

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