Monday 20 May 2019

Rural funding hope for Briery Gap theatre

Maria Herlihy

Work is moving on with getting the Briery Gap "back up and running", councillors heard at the Blarney Macroom municipal district meeting. 

Jim Molloy, SEO of the Municipal District Operations and Rural Development, told the meeting that work has recommenced on a design to get it through the Part Eight planning. 

"That will then enable us to get tenders, and while this is subject to funding. there is the Rural Regeneration Fund," he said. He said he was now looking at the funding figures for the library and the Briery Gap. 

Chairing the meeting, Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) said it was good to finally hear some positive news. He has been working for many months on trying all avenues to get the much-needed community facility put back into the community once again. 

Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) said it was very important that the entire project was "shovel-ready" when it needed to be. 

"The cost of this project is €4million, but there's a deficit of €1.5 million, and the Government has only put 6 per cent on the table, and that is pretty poor," she said. The insurance comes to €1 million and then there's €1 million from the council," she added. 

Cllr Michael Creed (FG) said that the Rural Regeneration Fund has a pot of €100 million and, as previously outlined by Mr Molloy, they would be seeking a slice of that funding to help them with the project in Macroom. 

Cllr Bob Ryan (FF) welcomed the updated process but said what was central to it was the funding. "It's a huge shortfall of €1.5 million," he said.

 Cllr Kevin Conway (Ind) said the Briery Gap was a very worthy project and the most important aspect is to now "get and have the money to do it." 

Cllr Lucey (FG) said he has been following this project very closely, and Minister Michael Creed and CCC CEO Tim Lucey have met to discuss it.  

Cllr Ted Lucey said he is confident that a substantial grant will come from the Department and also from the Rural Regeneration Fund to get the project over the line. 

Mr Molloy said that pressure is being put on the Architect's Department to get the Part Eight through by Christmas. 

"The sooner that we get that then the sooner we can get it passed and to keep the project moving," he said. 

He added that some projects have already been singled out for funding from the Rural Regeneration pot, which includes revamping the Church of Ireland in Macroom and to put it in use as a community facility along with a memorial at Béal na Bléth.