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 email@example.com 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 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.
Just Transition Fund
Applications were put forward with regard to climate action, economic and community development, tourism, employment and natural amenity for projects to progress the Just Transition process in Lanesborough, County Longford. Funding for projects €100,000 and under were announced in September 2020, with Longford County Council Regeneration team securing funding for the preparation of a large-scale feasibility study for Lanesboro Renewable Energy Transition - Anaerobic Digestion facility and potential associated enterprise development. It is expected that the feasibility study will outline the benefits and impacts of the facility on the horticultural, agricultural, industrial and transportation sectors in the region and outline a programme of stakeholder involvement to ensure the transition to a socially and environmentally sustainable, low carbon economy.
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