A number of community projects in Athlone and Moate have been afforded substantial finances under the Community Recognition Funds scheme.
Athlone Boat Club, Athlone Battery Heights Community Centre, Athlone RSC, Wansboro Park, Athlone Tennis Club, St Mary’s Community Hall and Dún na Sí Heritage Park in Moate have all been allocated government funding towards specific projects which will enhance the services provided within the community.
Welcoming the announcement, constituent Minister of State, Deputy Peter Burke, was very happy with the allocation of Community Recognition funds within the locality.
“The Community Recognition Fund has been designed to develop infrastructure and facilities in areas where a significant number of new arrivals have been accommodated from Ukraine and other countries with funding spread throughout the county. In total, the fund will administer nationally €30m in 2023 and €20m in 2024.
“This goes to show that when viable, worthwhile projects are identified and highlighted, the funding is there and we back these communities.
“Well done to the hard-working committees and Local Authority staff and looking forward to seeing these significant investments really making a difference in our local areas – building safer, stronger communities,” Deputy Burke asserted.
Keena welcomes Community Recognition Fund Allocations
Echoing similar sentiments, Cllr Frankie stated that the largest portion of funding was allocated to the Athlone-Moate Municipal District as this area “hosts the majority of those seeking international protection and asylum.”
“The Community Recognition Fund is a major initiative designed to specifically support communities across the country that are hosting people from Ukraine and other countries.
“Worthy projects in Athlone and Moate have secured grant aid under this funding stream and this will help them continue the excellent work that they provide to help communities. The Department requires that 60% of all this funding is spent by next October so it was important to identify projects that are achievable within a tight timeframe.
“An example of a successful recipient would be Wansboro Park where the local community have been campaigning for this amenity park to be upgraded following years of it been used as a building site. More recently, I submitted a signed petition from 12 local residents’ association to the council which outlined their requests. This allocation last week of €150,000 towards the park will now be a huge help when making a case to achieve their aims.
“The tenants in St Mary’s Hall are also delighted to see that €250,000 has been granted towards the refurbishment of this fabulous community building in the centre of town. This funding will help in some way to address issues such as the inadequate heating and security,” Cllr Keena remarked.
Paddy Beaumont from Athlone Karate Club welcomed the funding and stated that a wide range of improvements are required in the hall to cater for the large number of people using the building.
“This building is the hub of community activities within the town and over the winter months it can be particularly cold,” Mr Beaumont asserted.
Kieran Burke from Gateway was also delighted to see this funding approved for the building as the demand for the wide range of the excellent services provided within the building is constantly growing.
“We need to upgrade the facilities to cater for the varied demand,” Mr Burke concluded.