The official opening of the Oak Tree Business Park and Community Centre took place today in Killygordon, East Donegal, following its recent construction completion. The EUR800,000 Centre, whose two main funders are the International Fund for Ireland and Border Action, will provide much needed facilities and services to accelerate and stimulate economic regeneration and community development for the area.
The Oak Tree Business Park and Community Centre, an initiative of local community group, Crossroads and Killygordon Enterprises Ltd. (C.A.K.E), can now offer much sought after commercial/industrial space for fledgling businesses, which will help to promote and retain indigenous enterprises. In addition, the facility will also include a conference room, meeting rooms, a large auditorium, a shop, a cafeteria, a hairdresser and a beautician.
One of the primary objectives of C.A.K.E. is to promote the regeneration of the economic and social infrastructures of Crossroads/Killygordon and its hinterland, as a result of recent manufacturing job losses and high unemployment in the east Donegal area.
The Oak Tree Business Park and Community Centre has cost just over EUR800,000 to build and fit-out with the bulk of the funding, EUR317,000 coming from the International Fund for Ireland. The balance of the funds was provided by the Border Action (EUR230,000), local community (EUR120,000), National Lottery (EUR100,000), Donegal Development Board (EUR19,000), Ireland American Fund (EUR12,700).
Speaking at the opening of the Business Park and Centre, Mary Coughlan, T.D. Minister for Agriculture and Food said: “I am delighted to have been in a position to support this project from inception. The business park is good news for encouraging investment and job creation in the area, while the community centre is a major boost in the recreation facilities available for the whole community. The entire project is a reflection of the great community spirit in the Killygordan and Crossroads area and a credit to all the local organisations and individuals involved.”
Mr. Denis Rooney, chairman, International Fund for Ireland and the main funder behind the project said: “As part of our Rural Development Programme, The International Fund for Ireland has always prioritised projects which help local communities to help themselves. It is for this reason we were so pleased to become involved with C.A.K.E. in the development of the Oak Tree Business Park and Community Centre. This centre has the potential to become a model for other areas around the border and beyond and its multi-purpose design means it should become the hub of both the community and a thriving local economy.”
Speaking at the opening, Ms Pauline Perry, Development Officer for Border Action said: “The project represents the culmination of years of hard work by the community which has taken opportunities arising from peace and which represents a significant achievement which Border Action are delighted to be associated with.”
Pat the Cope Gallagher, T.D. Minister for State at the Department of Transport, speaking at the opening was high in his praise for the local committee who had worked diligently over the last number of years to provide a state of the art facility at Killygordon. He also paid tribute to the various funding agencies.
Frank Kelly, vice chairman of C.A.K.E. stated that he “was pleased with its use to date, but hoped the project will soon be used to its full potential when the remaining element of the Sport and Recreation Facility, is completed in August. At this stage, we will have a major resource for the entire community.”
The official opening was performed by the Chairman of C.A.K.E. and recent participant in the Donegal Person of the Year, Maxi McCreary, who thanked all concerned with the project to date. The opening event was well attended by a host of Ministers, local funding agencies as well as local County Councillors.
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