More than €300,000 in funding has been announced this week for refurbishment and conservation works at the former industrial school in Letterfrack.
The funding, totalling €321,564 and allocated under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme, will go towards architectural and energy conservation works to the roof and 72 windows of the building.
Minister for the Environment, Community, and Local Government Phil Hogan announced this week that he has given sanction to Forum Connemara Ltd to approve the funding to Connemara West Education Ltd to carry out the works.
The works will improve the energy efficiency of this landmark building, which is a listed building and houses part of the GMIT Letterfrack campus, and will secure its heritage value. The funding is being provided under the Basic Services for the Economy and Rural Population measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.
The estimated total cost of the project is in the region of €428,000.
“The project will help to preserve the social, historical and architectural significance of the building and will consolidate its continued use as an educational establishment and as a community facility,” the Minister said. “Such facilities are critical to the development and maintenance of sustainable rural communities and enhance the social attractiveness of these communities.
“This project will now go back to the board of Forum Connemara Ltd for final approval,” he added. “This is in line with the EU’s ’bottom-up’ approach to rural development.”
Dep Sean Kyne this week welcomed the funding, and Dep Kyne acknowledge the role of Councillor Eileen Mannion in making representation on the issue.