Abbeyshrule The Yard Project
Work is progressing well on The Yard Hub project in Abbeyshrule which involves the redevelopment of a derelict site within the village of Abbeyshrule to create a rural working hub. Doyle Construction Ltd commenced construction work on the project in November 2021. Building work completed to date includes the underpinning of foundations and the construction of the external blockwork and roofs to the South, Middle and North barns. Civil works to facilitate the installation of the site services are ongoing. Stone to sub-floor level has been installed for construction of the building to facilitate a purpose-built unit for the Abbeyshrule Canoe Club. The final project will offer a mix of individual offices and co-working spaces.
Danes Hill Ardagh Walkway
Longford County Council Regeneration team in conjunction with Longford Tourism and Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre have recently delivered the Danes Hill Ardagh walkway project. It is part of a wider project linking the villages of Ardagh and Keenagh and the tourism assets in both, in particular the Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre and Corlea Trackway Centre. Signage is provided at Danes Hill and Corlea, highlighting the area and links and connections between the sites. It also enhances connectivity in the village, primarily linking the village to Bri Leith and Ardagh Mountain. This walkway plays a key role in the development of the tourism infrastructure for County Longford, linking key tourism sites within the county and making them more accessible to the wider community. This will benefit not only Ardagh but the wider county.
Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) Funding Announced in January 2022
The Regeneration team are delighted with the grant funding of €1.1 million announced by Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development on 6th January 2022 for Granard town. The allocation will support the acquisition of key sites for the Granard Destination Project and the completion of design and planning work on the development of a multi-use open space and parkland. It will also be used to design and plan for the enhancement of public areas, which will increase connectivity and reduce congestion in the town centre. This project seeks to build upon the strengths of Granard, seeking to ensure that economic development opportunities are optimised and the attractiveness and quality of the public realm and the built and natural environment is enhanced.
Royal Canal Greenway Refurbishment
The Regeneration team received grant funding from the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport for a refurbishment project along the Royal Canal Greenway(RCG) entailing the placing of infrastructure, signage and ancillary works on the Longford Section of the RCG. This project involved the placing of picnic sets, benches, bicycle racks, shelters and Lifebuoys along the Royal Canal Greenway between Churchland Bridge and Longford Town. Trail Head and Storyboard signage have also been placed on Royal Canal Greenway Churchland Bridge to Longford town section. The Regeneration team worked in partnership with Waterways Ireland on this project.
Barry Village Enhancement
The project to complete undergrounding of utility lines in the village of Barry has completed in January 2022. Lighting has been upgraded to LED standard to improve the energy efficiency in the village and assist Longford County Council in meeting its energy saving targets. The work included excavation of trenches, provision of ducting, installation of new public lighting columns and completion of all connections to the existing properties in the village. This enhancement of the village of Barry makes it more attractive for the local community and visitors.
Edgeworthstown Urban Greenway
Works on the development of an urban greenway within the town of Edgeworthstown connecting the local housing estates with essential services and amenities such as the National school, Community centre, Green recreational area and the town centre were completed in December 2021. The project included dropping the kerb lines on existing public footpaths to allow for crossing points at a safe location, modifications to existing footpaths, constructing additional footpath within Devine Crescent estate, pedestrian access point to central green area/community hall and enhancing connectivity within the town. These works will allow people to walk to their town and will encourage drivers to slow and create a safer environment for users of the pedestrian facilities.
River Walk, Aughnacliffe
This project for the development of phase two of the Aughnacliffe River Walk, approximately 600m of trail, linking into the Phase one which included the development of a walkway and viewing platform to Pulliness waterfall completed in December 2021. This hidden gem within the village was redeveloped by the local community in recent years. This trail which runs along the Rathmore River creates a looped walk within the village, making it more attractive to users and opening up the river and waterfall to more people. This trail also links into the wider trails in the village linking the dolmens and the site of the ancient village. The local community have driven this project in order to enhance the tourism infrastructure within the area and create new opportunities to promote the area.
Contract signing at Abbeyshrule
The Regeneration team are delighted to confirm that contracts have been signed in November 2021 with Doyle Construction Limited for the redevelopment of the Old Canal Stores in Abbeyshrule into a rural working hub. Work has already commenced onsite. The final project will offer a mix of individual offices and co-working spaces. The project will also include a purpose-built unit for the Abbeyshrule Canoe Club. It is in line with national policy: ‘Our Rural Future: Rural Development Policy’. The project is an example of the work of the Regeneration Department, bringing vacant and derelict buildings in the heart of town and village centres back into active use and it creates space for economic and enterprise development in the village of Abbeyshrule.
Longford Connected Project contract signing
Works are progressing on the €4m URDF project in Longford town. The Mel’s Road Section of the project will be substantially completed by December 2021. On completion these works will improve accessibility, visual appearance and pedestrian amenity along this route linking the Albert Reynolds Peace Park amenity area, St Michael’s School, the shopping centre facilities and parking area for tourism associated with St Mel’s Cathedral. The construction contract for the Public Realm at the Shopping Centre and Market Square has been awarded in November 2021 and work is expected to commence early in 2022. A photoshoot to mark the occasion of the signing of the construction contract took place on Monday, 15th November 2021 at Market Square, Longford Town.
NOAC Good Practice in Local Government Awards on 9 November 2021
On 9th November 2021 the Regeneration team presented a video on rural working hubs and digital strategies
at the NOAC Good Practice in Local Government awards. The Rural working hubs guidance and strategy document developed by the Regeneration team focuses on the roll out and development of digital hubs throughout Co. Longford. The strategy to provide rural working hubs is being led by the Regeneration section working in conjunction with LCC IT section and responds to demand from communities throughout Co. Longford. Longford County Council is the first local authority in Ireland to develop a Rural Working Hub Strategy that suits the needs of the local community. The purpose of the project was to address the fact that 3,324 workers travel outside County Longford for work (statistics correct as per the 2016 Census). The aim of the project was to provide those people with an opportunity to live and work within their local communities and therefore prevent the loss of daily economic and social activity there.
ORIS Funding Announced
The Regeneration team are delighted that funding has recently been secured for seven projects under measure one and three projects under measure two of the Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure scheme (ORIS). The measure one projects include a number of walkway trails. The projects under measure two of the scheme awarded funding are as follows:
North Longford Rebel Trail - Granard Greenway
Construction of a c2.1km long greenway, accommodating both pedestrians and cyclists at Rathcronan and Higginstown, Granard, Co. Longford
Aughnacliffe Heritage Trail
Development and enhancement of a 4.2km trail connecting the Dolmens and Deserted Village in Aughnacliffe.
Derrycassin Woods Enhancement
Upgrade to 6.5km of trail within Derrycassin Woods, Mullinalagtha, Co. Longford
These projects will be delivered in 2022.
The Old Bog Line, Culray, Aughnacliffe
This project which involved the development of a historic walking trail of approximately 500m at Culray Co. Longford was completed by the Regeneration team in October 2021. This project is the first phase of a larger project, linking through approximately one km of bog, in the place of the Old Bog Line, a throughway road that was built in famine times, as the main artery from Granard to Arva and onto Cavan. The element that was developed under this project was a bog access roadway which had become overgrown in recent years. The trail links into the wider recreational amenity network in the area, including Lough Gowna at Dring car park and Derrycassin Woods walk.
Red Bridge Ballymahon
The Red Bridge project which was coordinated by Waterways Ireland in cooperation with Longford County Council Regeneration team has completed in October 2021. The work involved installation of a floating jetty at the Red Bridge on the River Inny at Shrule, construction of a car park and associated work and installation of new solar powered lighting. The Red Bridge is one project in a suite aimed at development of new and enhanced waterside amenities and enabling infrastructure at identified locations along the Shannon Navigation and is a welcome enhancement of the tourism infrastructure in Co. Longford.
Commons North Walk Upgrade, Lanesborough
In October 2021 the Regeneration team completed the maintenance and upgrade of an existing walkway of approximately 800m at Commons North, Lanesborough. The project involved clearing of overgrown shrubbery, raising the ground above flood level and protecting the trail from future flooding. Since completion, Longford County Council has received very positive feedback in relation to the increased accessibility and the vital contribution that the walkway makes to the local amenity infrastructure. Located in close proximity to Lanesborough town centre, it forms part of the tourism offering and links the urban area with the countryside through forestry with glimpses of Lough Ree along the trail.
Rural Working Hubs Press Release 12 October 2021
Longford County Council is delighted to confirm that its Strategy and Guidance Document on Rural Working Hubs has now been shortlisted for two separate awards.
The groundbreaking work of the Longford County Council Regeneration Team, which was supported by Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan and the elected members, was recently nominated in the Local Authority Innovation Category of the seventeenth annual Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2021. Now, that work has also been shortlisted in the Economy category of the prestigious European-wide Innovation in Politics Awards 2021.
The annual Innovation in Politics Awards recognise innovative projects based on European values of social balance, democracy, and human rights. It is about pushing boundaries and recognizing creativity from across Europe where pioneering new solutions are being found for today’s challenges. Over 1,000 Europeans make up the citizens’ jury, which evaluates the projects to determine the finalists and winners in the awards’ nine categories.
Commenting on the second nomination for the work on the Rural Working Hubs Strategy and Guidance document, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan said, “This is yet another example of Longford finally being recognised for what it has – an abundance of talent and dedication to the projects that really matter. Rural working hubs make an important impact on people’s daily lives and they help to sustain our communities. I want to thank the Regeneration Team for pushing this innovative work forward and all my fellow elected members for backing these hubs from the start”.
Chief Executive Paddy Mahon said, “It’s a testament to the quality of the work being done here in Longford that the guidance document produced by our Regeneration Team has been used as the basis for the national guidance document for this area going forward. I want to congratulate them and the foresight of our elected members for choosing to support this progressive approach.”
Longford County Council is the first council in Ireland to develop a Rural Working Hub Strategy that suits the needs of the local community. The purpose of the project is to address the fact that 3,324 workers travel outside County Longford for work (statistics correct as per the 2016 Census). The aim of the project is to provide those people with an opportunity to live and work within their local communities and therefore prevent the loss of daily economic and social activity there.
The project emerged through Longford’s involvement in a European-wide project with partners in Finland on rural working hubs. The consultation process included a webinar hosted by Longford County Council, which was attended and presented at by Minister of State with Responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy TD as well as over 90 European participants.
Contributing to a more sustainable future
To date, the initiative is developing Rural Working Hubs in three locations in Longford: Edgeworthstown, Abbeyshrule and Ardagh. These state-of-the-art facilities allow employees to work closer to home; provide a base for entrepreneurs and start-ups; contribute towards a low carbon future and help redevelop Longford's towns and villages under a digital strategy. Targeted regeneration of towns and villages, international collaborations and grassroots involvement ensures a long-term approach to a more sustainable society.
- The seventeenth annual Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2021 are due to take place on 18 November 2021. Longford County Council has also been recognized with a nomination for The County Longford Decade of Centenaries Programme, 2020-21 in the Commemorations & Centenaries category.
- For the Innovation in Politics Awards 2021, the 10 top-scoring projects in each category will be announced on Tuesday, 12 October 2021 before an overall awards ceremony takes place in December.
Launch of Moydow Community Centre fitout & BCP
A very successful launch of the fitout of Moydow Community centre and broadband connection point took place on 17 June 2021 in the community centre. Christine Collins, IT Broadband Manager presided over the launch and there were a number of speakers representing Moydow community group, Longford County Council and the Elected Members. In attendance were Cllr. Paul Ross, Cllr. Colm Murray, Cllr. Mick Cahill, John McKeon, members of the Regeneration team and Moydow community group. The facility has been provided with a flat smart screen, a multi-functional printer, desks and chairs, screens and necessary electrical equipment. A dedicated room in the building is fitted out for remote working. The facility will bring added value to the Moydow community, particularly as many people are working remotely due to the Covid 19 pandemic and it will be a great asset to the community for many years to come. The Regeneration team are delighted to have worked in conjunction with Longford County Council IT department and Moydow community group on this valuable project.
RRDF Funding Announced for Ballymahon, Co. Longford on 19 April 2021
The Regeneration team is delighted to welcome the announcement of €6 million funding for Ballymahon, Co. Longford by Minister Heather Humphreys. This project involves the renovation of three historic town centre buildings including the vacant former convent building, the old Boys School and the former Dean Egan Library into a Co-Working Space, Youth Hub and a Community Centre.This is a transformational regeneration project for Ballymahon to address the social, economic and physical needs of the town. The project will bring a number of vacant buildings located in the centre of the town back into use to provide key services for the local community including enhanced family support services, a new dedicated youth club, enhanced elderly care services and a new rural working hub. The project will have a significant and sustainable impact on the social and economic development of the community by delivering a campus of scale that will provide community services and deliver sustainable regeneration.
Minister announces €14 million for Camlin Quarter Regeneration, creating a vibrant, dynamic and pedestrian-focused town core
Longford County Council is delighted to welcome the announcement on 8 March 2021 of a combined central Government and Longford County Council funded package totalling nearly €14 million for the Camlin Quarter Regeneration Project in Longford town under the government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).
The funding was confirmed on Monday 8 March by Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O'Brien and Longford Westmeath TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke. This ambitious project, together with the already commenced €4 million Longford Connected Project, will completely transform the core of Longford town, increasing footfall from both locals and visitors by improving the commercial environment and attracting future inward investment to address the cycle of economic downturn of recent years.
Cathaoirleach Paul Ross explained “This is Longford’s time to shine. This project represents a visionary approach and is the single biggest government funding investment to come to Longford (€10.44 million plus €3.48 million match funding by Longford County Council), which will take three to four years to complete and will see the culmination of a number of plans for the area including the Camlin Masterplan, which reimagines the area underlining the importance of the Camlin River as a key asset within the town centre.”
The Camlin Quarter Regeneration Project focuses on the northern heart of the town of Longford including both sides of the River Camlin, the area surrounding Connolly Barracks, Church Street, Bridge Street, Lower Main Street, Great Water Street, Little Water Street and the Providers building.
This area has suffered the loss of key commercial services in recent years which has decreased footfall causing overall decline. This project is a series of interventions to re-energise more than 55 acres of the northern town core area. It prioritises the pedestrian experience, celebrates the historic significance of the area and most importantly, will attract sustainable public and private sector investment to stimulate the immediate economy.
Delighted with the news, Chief Executive Paddy Mahon said “This is a vote of confidence by central Government in the ambition shown by Longford County Council to deliver a series of transformative flagship projects for Longford Town that we have been planning since 2018. We remain confident of further largescale central Government supports in the time ahead which will enable Longford County Council to unlock the true potential of Longford town.”
Cathaoirleach of Longford Municipal District Peggy Nolan paid tribute to the Executive of Longford County Council. “I wish to compliment everybody involved in this exceptional achievement. This is the result of five years of working together because together we’re stronger. Nobody knows the needs of the people of Longford better than those who serve and as Cathaoirleach of Longford MD, I want to acknowledge both my fellow Elected Members and the Executive for their dedication and diligence.”
Chief Executive Paddy Mahon emphasised the Council’s commitment to the project and the importance of consultation and collaboration with businesses and communities. He also said “The forward-thinking decision taken by elected members in recent years to increase the Local Property Tax has enabled Longford County Council to take on such ambitious projects and it has perfectly positioned it to deliver this transformative vision for this area. It represents a richly deserved return on investment for the Local Property Tax payer and Commercial Rate payer of Co Longford alike.
Terry Rooney of Longford County Council Regeneration Team said “After so many years of detailed planning, the members of the Regeneration Team are delighted that this funding is now being allocated. The project, which will greatly enhance the investment potential of the area, will set the scene for future projects of scale, planned and proposed”.
Cathaoirleach Paul Ross thanked the Regeneration Team for working tirelessly on bringing the project to this stage. “Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government’s commitment to the rejuvenation of regional towns like Longford. Today is the first step in what will be a transformative time for Longford town. It’s going to change the environment in which we live and work and will continue to make Longford the place to be.”
Longford’s Camlin Quarter sits at the northern end of the town centre, on either side of the Camlin River. Once forming a strong urban axis, with Market Square in the south and Connolly Barracks in the north, the loss of key industries and services in this area significantly decreased pedestrian activity, leading to vacancy, dereliction and general decline. The Camlin Quarter regeneration project seeks to address this imbalance and revitalise this area, with focused interventions at key areas to bring back activity and build on the wealth of existing assets, such as the award-winning Albert Reynolds Peace park (ARPP), to act as a catalyst for future developments and ensure sustainability.
Elements of the plan include:
• The extension of the Albert Reynolds Peace Park to include recently acquired Council lands at Abbeycartron and the extension of pedestrian links established through this area across the Camlin.
• The development of new recreational amenities along the Camlin River, further prioritising the pedestrian experience within our town core and enhancing biodiversity
• Improvements to streetscapes and public spaces around the Connolly Barracks and Church Street area
• Improvements to the Bridge Street Junction, Lower Main Street and down Great Water Street to include the area around the Council buildings
• Planned development in line with the principles of compact urban growth to increase residential occupancy and bring life back into town core
• The refurbishment of the Providers building bringing it back into sustainable and beneficial use and generate activity at this important location
• Improving movement and connectivity in the area by creating a physical link between Strokestown Road and Little Water Street to support revitalisation measures
Camlin Quarter Regeneration is a placemaking initiative that aims to connect existing assets while addressing dereliction, vacancy and use mix to allow the area to reach its full potential in achieving a vibrant, dynamic and pedestrian focussed town core. The project is based on the policies adopted by Longford County Council in the Town and Environs Local Area plan that recognises the strategic importance of the area along the River and aims to strengthen connections between the Canal, the Camlin and the functional areas in between. The Camlin Quarter Masterplan further developed these ideas in consultation with the local community and formed the basis for this project.
Funding was sought for the development of this project under the Urban Regeneration and Development fund (URDF), administered by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. The fund is in place for towns with a population of over 10,000 to secure the national strategic objectives outlined under project Ireland 2040. The fund provides for large-scale strategic projects to promote economic vitality, liveability and environmental quality of town centres and to act as catalysts for ongoing sustainable regeneration. The project aligns with the ongoing “Longford Connected” urban realm improvements that received funding from the
URDF in 2019 which, when combined with Council resources, will see almost €4 million spent.
The Camlin Regeneration Project is concerned with six strategic areas on either side of the Camlin River, carefully chosen to ensure maximum impact for investment and to build on existing assets. The closure of Connolly Barracks significantly accelerated the downturn of activity in the Camlin Quarter. This project addresses the setting of the Barracks, improving access via Little Water Street and providing a riverside recreation area to extend the reach of the Albert Reynolds Peace park (ARPP) and improve town centre biodiversity. Public Spaces will be transformed at the Barracks Plaza and Church Street, framing its “gateway” position into the town core from the Battery road and as a pedestrian route linking to ARPP and the river.
Improvements are also planned to the Bridge Street Junction, down through Great Water Street and taking in the Council buildings. These will include accessibility to the Riverside and linking existing urban parkland areas with new spaces to encourage a more walkable town centre. Planned development includes targeted housing types in line with the principles of compact urban growth to increase residential occupancy and bring life back to town centres. The ARPP will be extended to include recently acquired Council lands at Abbeycartron and pedestrian links established through this area across the Camlin and onto the existing Slí na Sláinte. Improvements at the existing Mall Complex will further encourage its use as a recreational centre of excellence for the surrounding schools, residential area and town centre users and as a pedestrian network to access town centre services, employment and education.
The project includes the refurbishment of the Providers Building to bring it back into sustainable and beneficial use, acting as an anchor and generating activity at this strategic location. Aligned with the theme of creating strategic links, the establishment of a connection between the Strokestown Road and Little Water Street is a critical element managing movement in the area and enabling its revitalisation.
The project is ambitious in its scale and extent and is required to break the cycle of economic downturn in the area. This is reflected in the three to four-year timeframe and €14m budget allocation, secured through the URDF and matched by Council own resources.
Longford County Council participate in the URBACT European exchange and learning programme that promotes sustainable urban development. An URBACT local group (ULG) was established to identify, develop and drive projects in the Longford area. This group is made up of local representatives, groups and organisations including the Chamber of Commerce and the Gardaí and has significantly contributed to the Camlin Quarter Regeneration project. Completing projects in the areas of Military Areas as Public Spaces (MAPS) and progressing others in the enhancement of urban security (URBsecurity), the ULG continue to feed into town core regeneration.
ORIS Funding Announced on 4 March 2021
On 4th March 2021 the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D. announced funding for projects under Measure 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. The scheme provides funding for the development, promotion and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways, and blueways. The Regeneration team at Longford County Council are delighted with the funding received of €200k for Newtownforbes Bog Walk, a development of c. 2.9km trail linking the village of Newtownforbes with the nearby countryside, through grassland, bog and forest and €200k for Phase one of the construction of a walkway/cycleway linking Ballymahon Town with Newcastle Woods, along the River Inny.
Fit-out of Broadband Connection Points in Co Longford
This project to fit out seven centres identified at Moydow Community centre, Mullinlaghta Community Centre, Colmcille, Ballymore and Carrickedmond GAA clubhouses, Moyne Latin School and Longford Aviation Ltd has completed in February 2021 with the support of the Broadband Officer in Longford County Council. Each facility has been provided with a flat smart screen, a multi-functional printer, desks and chairs, screens and necessary electrical equipment. A dedicated room has been identified in each building for the development of remote working facilities. This project is important particularly in Covid 19 times, where many people are working remotely and will bring added value to the BCPs, ensuring that they are not just accessible points from outside the buildings but that they can greatly benefit the communities in which they are located.
Rural Working Hubs Webinar on 3 March 2021
Longford County Council, as part of their participation in the Rural Working Hubs project, hosted an online information webinar on Wednesday 3rd March 2021 to provide groups and individuals interested in establishing rural working hubs an insight into the various types of hubs as well as practical information on their operation. We were delighted to welcome Stephen Carolan of the Western Development Commission who are leading the way in supporting the development of hubs in rural Ireland and Leah Fairman, manager of The Base Enterprise Centre in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal. The webinar provided groups with some valuable insight into what it takes to run a successful hub and the importance of the building of a strong community. The various types of hubs were outlined so groups can identify where they fit within the hub network and the different services that are required. We hope that the information session provided groups interested in the establishment of a hub in their community valuable information that will result in the development of a strong hub network across County Longford. The webinar can be viewed on the link below.
Keenagh Village Enhancement
The final part of a Village Enhancement Plan, which was drafted by Keenagh and District Development Association completed recently. The project which included removal of electricity and telephone poles from the village and their replacement with new cast iron poles fitted with energy efficient lighting has greatly enhanced the streetscape of the village and the visitor experience to the area. This has added to the other developments enclosed in the plan i.e. a new Community Playground, new Walk/Cycle ways installed along the Royal Canal, in Corlea Bog and around the village itself and numerous pieces of Artwork in the village. The Enhancement plan to date has increased visitor and tourist numbers in the area. This has been of particular benefit to the businesses in the village.
Invitation to Rural Working Hubs Webinar on 3 March 2021
Longford County Council invites you to an information session on the development of rural working hubs with Stephen Carolan of the Western Development Commission and Leah Fairman of Base Enterprise, a successful co-working space in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal. Stephen and Leah will give an insight to the various types of hubs and what a hub needs to operate, as well as information on the day to day requirements of operating a hub and what works well and not in a hub. The webinar takes place from 3pm to 5pm on 3 March 2021 via Microsoft Teams.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 26th February 2021 to register your interest in attending this webinar. Details on how to access this webinar will then be sent to you.
ORIS Funding Announcement on 18 January 2021
The Regeneration Department at Longford County Council are delighted with the funding announced by the Department of Rural and Community Development amounting to €122,745.45 for the following projects:
|Project name||Project Description||Location ||Funding Approved|
|Aughnacliffe River Walk||Development of phase 2|
Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford
|Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford|
|Knappogue Bog walk Extension||An extension to the Knappogue Bog Walk||Knappogue Bog, Co. Longford|
|Old Bog Line||The reinstatement of the Bog Line to provide a walking trail for the local community||Culray, Aughnacliffe, Co. Longford|
|Ballinamuck Signage||The design and provision of signage at Ballinamuck, Co. Longford||Ballinamuck, Co. Longford||€2,745.45|
|Commons North walk Upgrade||Maintenance & repairs at Commons North, Lanesborough||Lanesborough, Co. Longford|
|Support of existing walks and trails||The provision of footfall counters on a number of recently developed walks within Co Longford to quantify the numbers of users and impact of investment in trails||Corn Hill, Newcastle Woods, Corlea, Derrycassin, Co. Longford|
|Lough Naback Walk||The enhancement and further development of a trail at Lough Naback, Birrinigh, Co. Longford||Lough Naback, Birrinigh, Co. Longford|
Town and Village Renewal Scheme Funding Announcement
On 8th January 2021 Minister Heather Humphreys TD announced funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. Longford County Council Regeneration department are happy to announce that a total of €403,388 has been awarded to the county under this latest announcement. The funding will assist Longford’s towns and villages to implement measures to respond to the challenges associated with COVID-19, to help aid their economic recovery and to make them safer places to live and work. The range of projects to be implemented include provision for development of remote working facilities, the provision of a walking/cycling track to support recreational amenities and public-realm work on footpaths, lighting and signage to enhance town centre streetscapes. Longford County Council’s Regeneration team in conjunction with the community groups and town teams look forward to implementation of the following projects in 2021.
|Town/Village||Project details||Grant funding approved|
|Ardagh||The development of remote working facilities in an existing community centre.||€34,117|
|Edgeworthstown||The development of an outdoor covered performance and meeting space in Edgeworthstown.||€100,000|
|Lanesborough||The provision of enhanced road signage identifying Lanesborough as a tourist destination; provision of a footpath linking residential areas with the town centre.||€71,820|
|Barry||The relocation of electricity wires and the upgrading of LED lighting in the village to facilitate the development of the village streetscape||€100,000|
|Ballinalee||Enhancement of existing playground amenities in Ballinalee by developing an autism friendly community park. The provision of a walking/cycletrack. ||€97,451|
Knappogue Bog Walk
Work recently completed on the construction of a new trail of approximately 2.5km in length accommodating walking and cycling through Knappogue Bog. This key piece of tourism infrastructure in Co. Longford links the Royal Canal Greenway at Clondra with Lanesborough. The completion of this project has had a significant impact on the delivery of tourism infrastructure within the county and the Hidden Heartlands and is an important element in the delivery of the Mid Shannon Wilderness Park Greenway.
Killashee Car Park
The development of a car park which accommodates thirty eight car parking spaces adjoining the church in the village of Killashee has completed in December 2020. The works required excavation and removal of topsoil and roadside material, importing suitable fill material, providing and laying kerbing, erection of lighting, and a retaining wall along the roadside to the front of the church in order to protect the road. This project enhances the safety for users of the carpark and road users at this very busy traffic location.
Mosstown Mill, Keenagh
Work has completed on the repair of stone work and carpark formation at Mosstown/Limetree Avenue access road. This project is part of a larger plan to connect amenities in the local villages to the Royal Canal Greenway and the Mid Shannon Wilderness Park to encourage users to spend longer in the area. Funding was provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development under the 2019 Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure Scheme and Longford Council Council.
The Mall Walk, Longford town
Upgrade works which include fencing, street lighting and tarmacadam to upgrade the surface has completed on the entrance trail from St Johns Church Battery Road to The Albert Reynolds Peace Park in Longford town. Due to its proximity to the town centre and accessibility, the area is very popular for walking and running, as well as those involved in organised sports. These enhancement works to the existing trail which is 2.6kms approx. in length will be greatly welcomed by the many users of this facility.
Rural Working Hubs Webinar
On 24 November 2020 the Regeneration Department, with our project partners in Leader Aisapari in Finland held a very successful webinar to discuss rural working hubs with over ninety participants taking part from across Ireland, Finland and Europe. Among the speakers from Ireland and Finland were Minister Robert Troy, Tracy Keogh, co-founder of Grow Remote Ireland and Stephen Carolan, Western Development Commission. The discussion provided participants with an insight into the policy context, strategic approach and good practices in the development of rural working hubs, as well as practical experience from a community perspective. We hope that by sharing best practice, both nationally and internationally, we will help to develop a network of hubs across the county that will allow people to have a healthier work life balance and help to regenerate our towns and villages.
World Urbanism Day
The following short presentation provides an overview of World Urbanism Day and sets out how the Longford URBACT Local group and Regeneration Section work together in support of sustainable social, economic and environmental development in urban and rural areas throughout County Longford.
Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2020
We are delighted that the following Regeneration department projects have been shortlisted for the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards 2020.
- Putting a heart back into Edgeworthstown in Supporting Sustainable Communities
- Royal Canal Greenway - Longford Section in Supporting Tourism
- County Longford Regeneration Initiative in Sustainable Environment
- Albert Reynolds Peace Park Accessibility and Urban Connectivity initiatives in Enhancing the Urban Environment
The Excellence in Local Government Awards 2020 (ELG Awards), sponsored by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government which took place on 26 November 2020, are held to recognise and celebrate the outstanding work being carried out by local authorities all over Ireland.
Longford Connected Public Realm Enhancement Project
RPS Consulting Engineers Limited has been appointed by Longford County Council as the Project Managers and Designers for the Longford Connected Public Realm Enhancement Project. The Longford Connected €4 million approx. project focusses on enhancements to the public realm at Market Square and The Shopping Centre as these form focal points within Longford Town. The Project aims to enhance the pedestrian experience with new and improved surface treatments, more efficient lighting and signage, new street furniture and soft landscape installations. Consultations are currently taking place with RPS Consulting Engineers Limited seeking the public’s view on the final designs of the scheme prior to commencing the engineering design and progressing towards a product fit for construction.
Towns and Villages Scheme 2020
On 12 October 2020 the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys announced details of the projects that have been approved for funding under the third round of the enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2020 that supports towns and villages to respond and adapt to COVID-19. This funding will enable towns and villages to implement immediate measures that will encourage people into towns and villages to shop and socialise, while adhering to public health guidelines. The funding is facilitated through the Government’s July Stimulus package. This funding includes 38 large towns with populations in excess of 10,000 which have not previously been funded through the Town and Village Renewal Scheme and we are delighted that Longford town has been awarded €40,000 as part of this funding.
Longford County Council Regeneration department are happy to announce that a total of €116,790 has been awarded to the county under round three of the Scheme for the following towns and villages. This follows on from €104,040 awarded on 3 August 2020 under round one and €86,843 awarded on 11 September 2020 under round two of the Towns & Villages Scheme 2020.
|Town/Village||Project details ||Grant funding approved|
|Tier 5 Villages|
Provision of seating and cycle stands across various locations as follows:
Abbeyshrule, Ardagh, Aughnacliffe, Ballinamuck, Clondra, Drumlish, Keenagh, Legan, Newtownforbes.
|Ballinalee||Provision of lighting & seating along newly developed forest walk||€25,000.00|
|Provision of outdoor seating, tables & planting||€11,790.00|
|Longford||The enhancement of Breadan’s Lane within Longford Town, including new lighting to make the area more usable for the traders and increase connectivity within the town||€40,000.00|
Funding announcement for an Enterprise Hub in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford
On 25 September 2020 Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Robert Troy TD announced funding for an Enterprise Hub to be located in the centre of Edgeworthstown in County Longford under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund administered through Enterprise Ireland.
Minister Robert Troy TD said:
"I welcome the announcement of the approval of funding today. With this funding, the Old Ulster Bank building will be redeveloped into an enterprise hub that will facilitate up to 38 people with short- and long-term working spaces. This funding is extremely important to fostering a strong and vibrant community in Edgeworthstown. One of the key messages of this government is to lead on the creation and maintenance of high quality and sustainable full employment across all regions of the country by championing enterprise and innovation. This will have significant impact for the county of Longford, as this centre will become a key economic driver, supporting regeneration and economic growth in Longford. While there are challenges ahead, with challenge comes opportunity. As Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, I am determined to support projects such as this to ensure our regional communities get every opportunity to develop and grow."
The Longford Hub will be based in an old bank, on the main street in Edgeworthstown, formerly the Ulster Bank building.
A key objective of the hub in Longford is to promote the successful development of emerging businesses that will graduate from the Hub to move out into the wider community contributing to the overall vitality, diversity, and growth of the Longford economy.
The Hub in Edgeworthstown will create a vibrant space which is attractive to people looking to develop business ideas. It will provide concentrated supports to assist enterprises to get established. It will increase the number and quality of job opportunities available for people, reducing the need to move out of the Longford region for career purposes. This hub will offer people and enterprises different types of desk, office and meeting room spaces, utilising the latest technologies and the fastest broadband available in the marketplace. The Edgeworthstown hub will assist with the towns and county’s revival, enterprise and economic development.
Mid Shannon Wilderness Park
Clandillon Civil Consulting Limited have been appointed to carry out detailed design and environmental assessments for the development of a greenway network throughout the Mid Shannon Wilderness Park, linking it with existing routes in the south of the County and national and regional networks, including a bridge crossing at Kilnacarrow. The Mid Shannon Wilderness Park in Longford will be developed in partnership between the various owners including Bord na Móna, local communities and Longford County Council.
Contracts Signed for 'The Yard Hub’, Abbeyshrule
On 2 July 2020 contracts were signed for the appointment of architects de Blacam and Meagher to ‘The Yard Hub’ project in Abbeyshrule. The Yard Hub project involves the redevelopment of a derelict site in Abbeyshrule village to create space for economic and enterprise development. This facility will provide local people currently facing long commutes the opportunity to work close to home, and it will also bring economic activity to the village centre. The Regeneration department has worked closely with our elected members, the local community group and Waterways Ireland in development of this project. The Yard Hub will form part of the network of hubs in Co. Longford which contributes to the achievement of a low carbon economy and enhances the work/life balance of our citizens.
Contracts Signed at Granard Motte, Granard
In 2019 Longford County Council Regeneration department were successful in securing funding of €2.8 million under RRDF for creation of a Heritage Park at the base of Granard Motte. As part of the development, Failte Ireland granted €640k towards the “Norman Heritage Park”. Contracts for this Interpretative Centre were signed with DMW Creative Limited on 23rd July 2020. Agreement on the purchase of the 12th century Motte by Longford County Council was also finalised during the month. This development forms a vital part of the Hidden Heartlands attractions, greatly enhancing tourism in the area and will contribute to the economic and social regeneration of Granard town and surrounding areas for many years to come.
The Newcastle Woods Greenway at Newcastle Woods, Ballymahon, Co. Longford was officially opened on 20 July 2020 by Cathaoirleach Cllr Paul Ross. This Greenway links Newcastle Woods with the Royal Canal Greenway and will allow users travel from Dublin along the Greenway and into Center Parcs. This will increase the attractiveness of Longford and the wider Hidden Heartlands as a destination of choice for holiday makers.
Granard Motte, Granard