Forum Connemara is to approve funding of €200,000 to the Kylemore Trust to establish an education centre in the west wing of Kylemore Abbey.
The announcement was made recently by Minister for the Environment, Community, and Local Government, Phil Hogan, and the funding is being made available through the Encouragement of Tourism activities measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.
Announcing the funding Minister Hogan said: “This project will be of immense benefit to the Connemara area with its total project costs of €650,632. The promoter, Kylemore Trust, is seeking grant aid to establish an education centre in the west wing of Kylemore Abbey. The proposed development will offer services targeted at overseas organisations and visitors and, as well as supplying this niche tourism offering, will provide the local community with top-quality training facilities within their area. In keeping with the aims and objectives of the Rural Development Programme. I know this project will improve the quality of life and will strengthen the social and economic fabric for all the areas inhabitants.”
The LEADER elements of the programme offer many challenges and opportunities in terms of addressing the needs of improving the quality of life in rural areas and providing greater opportunities for farm diversification. It is focused on the development of micro-enterprises, rural services, rural recreation and rural tourism. It is hoped that, by focusing on these services, the programme will lead to sustainable development, which in turn will ensure prosperity for the rural areas.