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Gweedore Community Centre takes off with launch of new-build facilities

Published on:  22 Jul 2006

The International Fund for Ireland (IFI) has today welcomed the opening of the newly extended Gweedore Community Enterprise Centre by Mr. Sean O Longain, C.E.O., Donegal Vocational Committee.  The new building, which is providing 730 sq. m of additional rentable space as part of a new phase of development was completed at a cost of EUR723,750.

The IFI was one of the main funders of the project under its Border Towns and Villages Programme.  The balance of the funding has come from Udaras na Gaeltachta, Roinn na Gaelachta and the local community.

The newly extended Community Enterprise Centre can now provide an additional 10 units, which will be occupied by the existing tenants, consisting of two craft units, two workshops and the balance (six units) will be office type units operating as training and meeting rooms.

Speaking at the opening of the new building, Minister of State, Pat the Cope Gallagher T.D. said: “This project is another indication of the major impact that the International Fund for Ireland has had in the border counties and, in particular, Co. Donegal.  Community based projects such as this would not be viable without the support of the International Fund for Ireland working in partnership with the local community.  Over many years, the International Fund for Ireland has built up a very valuable partnership with all of the public bodies in Donegal.  The benefit of this partnership is evidenced through the involvement of Udaras na Gealtachta and Roinn na Gealtachta in this project.”

The event was also attended by Board members of the International Fund for Ireland and a number of its international observers, who were in Gweedore for an IFI Board meeting, in which it was reviewing and approving its next set of critical projects for funding.

Mr. Denis Rooney, chairman, International Fund for Ireland said: "In 2001, the Development Company approached the IFI about their plan to develop a community enterprise and resource centre for the indigenous sector within the county.  With grant assistance of EUR317,500 from the International Fund for Ireland and balance funding from Udaras na Gaeltachta and the local community, the flagship centre of ‘An Crannóg’ was built. Not only is the fact that we are here today to open this centre testament to the vision, determination and sheer hard work of the Society and all those involved with the project, but the fact that the centre has continuous occupancy of 100 per cent and has created 15 full time jobs is proof of the tremendous success of this endeavour."

Mr Tony McHugh, Manager of the Gweedore Development Company, said, ‘’We are delighted to have received the support which enabled us to develop this magnificent project and are privileged to have the Chairman and Board of the International Fund for Ireland, as well as the Minister of State, here at the official opening.  We have a vision that what we are doing will create an important resource for the area and provide much needed support for our community”. 

The Community Enterprise Centre has been developed by Gweedore Development Company (Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair), a community co-operative, set up in 1985 and representative of a cross-section of the local voluntary and private sectors.  The company currently has 98 community shareholders.

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