Friday 19 July 2019

An outdoor cinema could be on the cards after €1.3m allocated to Town and Villages renewal scheme

Sara Gahan

An outdoor cinema in Ferns is just one of the many community-led projects in North Wexford that will benefit greatly from the €1.334 million allocated to the county's Town and Villages Renewal scheme.

Courtown Development Association and Wexford County Council received €197,311 for enhancement works to the wooden ship on the pier and surrounding areas; Ferns Development Association got €99,580 for a themed playground, tourism project and enhancement to the community hall; and Askamore Muintir na Tír Community Project Ltd were presented with €63,999 for repairs and enhancement to the community hall.

Ferns Development Association aim to refurbish the Community Centre to incorporate an all year round tourism office and a display area for interpreting the Ferns story and a craft area. A medieval themed playground is proposed under a heritage plan commissioned by Wexford County Council. This would be an exciting outdoor entertainment area for children, reflecting the history and heritage of Ferns. Lastly, the Development Association wish to use existing medieval features as a backdrop for an outdoor cinema. It would create an atmospheric environment for adults and children.

The Ferns project is part of a larger programme of activities with a focus on developing tourism potential. It is an ambitious project and the plan is to develop Ferns as an all year round tourism destination.

Askamore Muintir na Tír Community Project Ltd wish to repair and enhance their local community hall and will take a four step holistic approach to their development stage. They will replace the flat roof at the front of the building; add a mobile stage to allow for stage productions; renovate two rooms so as to give the possibility of providing a tea room or office space; and develop a driving heritage trail with information at each location and a master map in Askamore at the Hall.

Courtown Development Association's Seafront Redevelopment phase one of plans will include the refurbishment of the existing wooden model boat on the pier so it can include a café space, performance space and seating. Phase two will be enhancement works to the area surrounding the ship resulting in a more promenade area suitable for people to walk and congregate for activities.

'Great result for county Wexford as a whole especially North Wexford,' said chairman of Gorey Municipal District Cllr John Hegarty.' This will make a massive impact on communities in Ferns, Courtown/Riverchapel and Askamore.'

Cllr Hegarty said it is great to see money now going to help develop facilities for these communities. He hopes these investments will help sustain the fabric of rural Wexford. District Manager Amanda Byrne said each application has a both economic and community focus and the works will contribute to the development of the local economy.

Gorey Guardian