The Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group (YSEDG), set up in 2007, has been hugely successful in delivering local funding and infrastructure for tourism and heritage-based projects in the town.
But with the demise of the town council, the development group is to team up with a county council-run Municipal District Council.
Seeking support at this month’s meeting of the East Cork municipal council, YSEDG manager Aileen Murray said the group had delivered “over €1.4m in drawn-down funding over the past four years” through flexibility and risk taking.
However, following the abolition of Youghal Town Council which was its main driving force, Ms Murray said it made sense to align with the new political structure and focus on an expanded area. She believes the group’s “wide range of expertise” can benefit a larger population.
The YSEDG was established by RAPID to address Youghal’s economic deterioration. It comprises a manager, an administrator and three community employment workers.
Ms Murray explained that the administrative sector would meet bimonthly with a steering committee comprised of the Youghal town clerk, a Cork County Council representative and personnel from diverse local bodies including Youghal Chamber of Tourism & Commerce and the principal of Pobalscoil na Tríonóide.
The group will consult, she said, with “advisory members” drawn from the senior ranks of bodies like Fáilte Ireland, the Local Enterprise Office, SECAD and Enterprise Ireland.
The manager pointed to several projects in which the YSEDG had played leading, and ongoing, roles. They include the restoration programme for the Clock Gate, historic town walls, St Mary’s Collegiate Church, and the eco-boardwalk along with the branding of the “Raleigh Quarter”.
Youghal-based Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley and Midleton’s Susan McCarthy volunteered for membership of an expanded YSEDG committee and will be formally elected at September’s council meeting.