The Gorgeous Gort Forum have warmly welcomed the decision of Minister Heather Humphries to approve funding of €798,000 from the Rural Regeneration and Development application for Gort. This application was submitted by Galway County Council with the support of the Gorgeous Gort Forum, the representative body for all local community groups, clubs and organisations.
This funding is for the re-design of the Market Square and town centre streets in Gort and will reinvigorate Canon Quinn Park, a greenspace in the town centre.
‘This is wonderful news that part of the Rural Regeneration and Development fund application for Gort has been approved,” said Justin McDermott, chairperson of Gorgeous Gort Forum.
“We thank the Minister for approving funding for our town, and all the team in Galway County Council who we supported in developing and submitting this application and the local representatives who supported this application.
“We also thank the over 40 organisations, clubs and groups in our community, who we represent, that provided invaluable letters of support’, said Mr McDermott.
The Gorgeous Gort Forum supported Galway County Council in the development and submission of this application. This included organising letters of support from over 40 various clubs, organisations, and groups in Gort which they represent.
Facilitating meetings between Galway County Council and key community stakeholders. Meeting and working with local elected representatives, including members of the Oireachtas Anne Rabbitte TD, Sean Canney TD, Ciaran Cannon TD and local councillors including Joe Byrne, PJ Murphy, and Geraldine Donoghue, to lobby the minister on behalf of the community.
Speaking on behalf of Galway County Council, Liam Hanrahan Director of Services – Housing, Economic, Rural and Community Development said “this funding award will enable the reimaging of Canon Quinn park into a high-quality public space alongside significant improvements to the public realm and will bring vibrancy into Gort town centre.
“The local community in Gort, represented by the Gorgeous Gort Forum have worked enthusiastically alongside GalwayCounty Council executive and councillors to help develop the project and we look forward to continuing to work with them as the project progresses’
Community activist David Murrayand& Forge Works Remote Working Hub Manager Laura Tannian, who were also involved in the development of this application, have voiced their delight with the outcome.
“This is a great win for Gort, South Galway and North Clare and will bring more economic, social and cultural benefits to the area”, said David Murray, a community activist for South Galway.
“Overall, this offers great potential to energise the town centre and bring much need services and amenities to the broader community,” he added.
The Gorgeous Gort Forum welcome this announcement, but there was disappointment that the purchase and development of a Multi-purpose Remote Working, Cultural and Community Space based in the existing iconic Convent of Mercy building in the centre of the town, which was part of this application, was not included in this funding announcement.
“We are disappointed that the Minister did not include the convent in her decision, but we will continue to work with all statutory agencies, local representatives and the local community to ensure a multi-purpose enterprise, Community and Cultural hub in the historic Convent of Mercy building in Gort becomes a reality,” it said.
Deputy Ciaran Cannon says that this is an ambitious investment in Gort, that builds on a very strong community spirit in the town.
“Gort is fortunate to have a group of very strong community activists that have ambitious plans for the future of the town.
“This group has been supported by Galway County Council in making this funding application and it’s a really positive development to see them being supported by Minister Humphreys. I made a strong case for this funding as it builds on recent investments in the town and has a firm foundation of community support.
“It’s the perfect example of the state partnering with local communities to build strong and sustainable towns”, said Deputy Cannon.
He said that the Gorgeous Gort Forum is a community group that was established to seek the views of all stakeholders in Gort in determining what were the most urgent needs of the town and how they could be best served.
“The forum carried out a very comprehensive engagement with those stakeholders and came up with an excellent plan for the redevelopment and reinvigoration of the town, focusing on places like Canon Quin Park which have huge untapped potential.
“This park in particular is a beautiful public space right in the heart of the town and this funding will see it being enhanced significantly with a focus on reconnecting it to the life of the town centre, including the town square and local streets.
“This investment will make Gort an even more attractive town to work and live in”, concluded Deputy Cannon.
The news has been welcomed by the Independent Galway East TD, Seán Canney, who commended the regeneration team in the Galway County Council for “their vision, enthusiasm, and exceptional ability to target funding to transform towns like Gort”.