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Major project to boost employment gets underway in Cushendall

Published on:  03 Dec 2007

Plans have today (Monday 3rd December) been unveiled for a new £463,000 community development scheme in Cushendall.

The scheme, which has been facilitated by the Cushendall Development Group, and will be built on the site of a derelict cottage on High Street, includes over 3,350 sq ft of office space incorporating eight potential retail units as well as a community conference facility, which will include a cultural and language centre. It is hoped that the project will create 12 new jobs for the area.

The project is being funded by the International Fund for Ireland, which has contributed £250,000 to the scheme as well as through the European Union Interreg IIIA Programme for Ireland / Northern Ireland implemented through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development which has granted £167,000. The remainder of the funding has been raised by the group and Moyle District Council has donated the site.

Cushendall Development Group was established in 1990 to promote economic and community development in the village. The Layde Road project follows on from the Group’s first development scheme, completed in 1994, which involved the restoration and refurbishment of the old village school in Mill Street for use as shops and offices and was funded by the International Fund for Ireland and Department of Environment.

Speaking at the launch Alexander Smith, Joint Director General of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “We are delighted to again be able to support Cushendall Development Group in this vital project which will have a very positive social and economic impact in this area.

The International Fund for Ireland has enjoyed a successful relationship with the Group since it was established in 1990. This new project will address a further identified need for neutral community and commercial space in Cushendall. Everyone involved in the scheme is to be congratulated.” 

Sean McGrade, Interreg IIIA Programme Manager, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: We are pleased to be associated with the development of this project and look forward to the realisation of the benefits the facility will provide to rural dwellers in the North Antrim area.”

Welcoming the launch of the project, Councillor Madeline Black, Chairperson of Moyle District Council said, “I wish to congratulate the Cushendall Development Group on reaching this important milestone.  The Council has been delighted to be able to support this project by making the land available.  There is no doubt that this will bring substantial economic and social benefits to Cushendall and the wider Glens area, and we look forward to seeing its completion in the near future”.

Bernie Delargy, Chairperson of Cushendall Development Group said that once completed the facilities would be an excellent addition to the range of services that Cushendall Development Group already offers.

She said: “Cushendall attracts many visitors each year due to its natural beauty. This Centre will enable us to capitalise on these visitors by providing retail and community space which, will not only be used to deliver a range of community based programmes, but also to provide a language and cultural centre which will act as a further boost to tourism in the area. I have no doubt that the Centre will be of huge benefit to the commercial and community life of Cushendall for many years to come.”

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