Marie McMahon, Rotary Clonmel; Anthony Coleman, Clonmel Borough District; Catherine Kennedy, South Tipperary Autism Support Group; Isabel Cambie, South Tipperary Development CLG; Brendan Nyhan, Rotary Clonmel; Clare Cashman, Tipperary Local Community Development Committee (LCDC); and Mayor Catherine Carey, Clonmel Borough District.
Over 70 projects - to the tune of €1.5 million - have been approved for LEADER funding across county Tipperary.
Chairman of the Tipperary Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), Mr John Carroll, is “delighted to see that the LEADER programme is being rolled out throughout Tipperary with a variety of projects being approved each month”.
One of the first contracts signed by Tipperary LCDC was with J.N. Cummins and Co. Ltd, Cashel, for the purchase of machinery to cut, lift and fold artificial grass from artificial playing pitches. This grant has allowed this business to offer an environmentally friendly and cost-effective solution for clients as the new machinery can recycle the infill or sand and potentially re-use the lifted artificial grass carpet in certain products such as dog runs.
Cais na Tire Farmhouse Cheese have been supported to acquire key items of equipment for their cheese making facility just south of Terryglass. This equipment will enable them to start producing Cais na Tire cheese on site at the farm. Cais na Tire is a unique award winning cheese described as earthy and sweet with caramel and pear like tones. Sheep cheese is a growing market both nationally and internationally and Cais na Tire are hoping to increase their export potential and create rural employment along the way.
Tipperary Boutique Distillery Ltd has also been approved funding for the construction of a bottling and distilling facility at Ballindoney farm, Grange, Clonmel. This will enable this start up business to become the first field-to-bottle farm based whiskey in Ireland, and has the potential to generate both employment and tourism in the area.
Farm Diversification support has also been endorsed for Blackcastle Farm to fund the development of a food processing unit on site in Two Mile Borris. At Blackcastle Farm they breed Piedmontese beef with a no fat gene, making them the leanest variety in the world. The RDP grant will assist the farm with renovation of an existing farm building to incorporate a state of the art kitchen and preparation facilities. This will allow them to expand production of their delicious and healthy range of raw and fresh meat products. Healthy living is in high focus for Blackcastle Farm along with job creation and the export potential for their expanding farm enterprise.
Some of the community projects under the Rural Towns Sub-Theme approved to date include the development and enhancement of playgrounds in Cappawhite and Borrisoleigh; the community walking/running track in Borrisoleigh; a sensory playground and garden in Mulcahy Park, Clonmel, by the South Tipperary Autism Support Group; the further enhancement of Ballynonty Memorial Garden; the Borrisoleigh River Walk Trailhead; and a recreation garden and car park at Gortnahoe.
Rural Tourism projects supported to date include the upgrading of Christ the King Viewing Point by the Glen of Aherlow Failte Society, marketing support for Cashel Arts Festival, and the development of a tourism proposal in conjunction with Kilkenny LEADER Partnership focusing on the development of Linguan River Valley that straddles the Tipperary - Kilkenny border area north of Carrick-on-Suir and south of Callan. Hidden Tipperary, a Thurles based tourism promotion group, have been approved to develop their marketing capacity. Tavern Caravan and Camping Park in Ballinderry will also receive support to extend and enhance their facility. A number of cross county tourism projects focused on Lough Derg are also in the pipeline.
Community facilities and groups approved for funding under the Basic Services sub-theme to date include Tipperary Dyspraxia Association, Nenagh Olympic Indoor Stadium, Derynaflan Residents Group, Knockanrawley Resource Centre, Glengoole Hall, South Tipperary Arts Centre, Hillview Sports Club Clonmel and South Tipperary GAA Centre.
John Carroll added: “Tipperary LCDC is delighted to be associated with these projects which will benefit communities, individuals and businesses throughout the county. The priority for the LEADER programme is to promote social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas like county Tipperary.”
All of these projects are being financed under LEADER as part of Ireland’s Rural Development Programme which is part-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development which aims to foster local development in rural areas.
Decisions on LEADER funding are made at a local level by the Tipperary LCDC and they have been awarded a project budget of over €7.5 million for the 2014-2020 programme period. Tipperary County Council are the financial partners with the Department of Rural and Community Development for this programme. The LEADER Programme is implemented on the ground by South Tipperary Development CLG and North Tipperary LEADER Partnership on behalf of Tipperary LCDC.
South Tipperary Development CLG and North Tipperary LEADER Partnership are currently seeking Expressions of Interest from interested parties under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme 2014-2020. Applications for projects under the Rural Tourism, Enterprise Development, Rural Towns, Rural Environment and Rural Youth sub-themes can be submitted all year round, subject to budget availability.
A Targeted Call for projects under the Basic Services Measure - typically community-based infrastructure or capital type projects and social supports - will be announced in April.
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