Community development planners eye €750k grant

An East Cork local authority is to consider investing a further €70,000 in a youth and community project to help the scheme’s co-ordinators acquire €750,000 in grant aid.

However, a further request for a loan of €30,000 is less likely to be met.

The grant has become available through the SECAD (South and East Cork Rural Development) programme, but must be accessed before the end of July.

Midleton Town Council has already invested €200,000 in purchasing the town’s former fire station from Cork County Council by way of securing a site for the centre.

A deputation from the project’s steering group MY Place and SECAD, appealed to the council’s July meeting to invest further.

MY Place chairman Denis Ring said the €70,000, would provide access to a further €262,500 — or 75% — towards the estimated €350,000 refurbishment costs.

The remaining €17,500 in non-public finance would be fundraised by MY Place.

Mr Ring further asked the council to provide a €30,000 loan for “working capital”.

This would be returned through fundraising and the centre’s future activities.

The chairman argued that “investment in our youth doesn’t cost, it pays”.

SECAD representative Nuala O’Connell referred to “certain changes” in SECAD’S Rural Development Programme fund including the requirement of planning details to be submitted prior to its board before it makes a decision, while the source of matching funding needed to be taken into account.

However, the budget had become nationalised so SECAD “must ensure that any project is allocated as quickly as possible”, she said.

The council agreed to approve the €70,000 investment “in principle”, subject to an acceptable management plan being presented prior to a meeting on the matter tomorrow.

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