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New Community Cultural and Business Centre officially opens in Cushendall

Published on:  26 Sep 2008

Cottage Stables, a new business, community and cross-border cultural centre, was officially opened today (26th September 2008) by Denis Rooney, CBE, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland.

The £585,000 scheme, has been facilitated through an innovative partnership between Cushendall Development Group and Imeall Trá Teoranta, and has been built on the site of an old stable block on High Street. The new building includes a community conference facility, which will include a cultural and language centre, as well as over 3,350 sq ft of office space incorporating six potential retail units. It is estimated that the project will create 12 new jobs for the area.

The project is being funded by the European Union INTERREG IIIA Programme for Ireland / Northern Ireland through the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, N Ireland and the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Ireland which has provided a grant of £260,000, the International Fund for Ireland, which has contributed £250,000 to the scheme and £39,482 (€50,000)* through the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund. The remainder of the funding has been raised by the group and Moyle District Council which donated the site.

Cushendall Development Group was established in 1990 to promote economic and community development in the village. The High Street 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.

Imeall Trá Teoranta have been in existence since 2005 and promote a unique approach to cross-border co-operation to advance the economic, social and cultural regeneration of North Antrim and the Donegal Gaeltacht.

Speaking at the official opening Denis Rooney said: “The International Fund for Ireland has enjoyed a successful relationship with Cushendall Development Group and was a key funder of the old village school project in Mill Street in 1994.

“I am delighted that the Fund is able to offer its support again for this new project. The restoration of the property will not only have a tremendous positive impact on the ongoing regeneration of Cushendall but will boost local enterprise and act as a focal point for cultural and community activity in the area. We wish the work of the centre well.”
Bernie Delargy, Chairperson of Cushendall Development Group said: “This is the culmination of many years work by the Cushendall Development Group and we acknowledge all the support and assistance given by the funders.”

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