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Essential funds will be made available to capital projects in communities across Northern Ireland thanks to a brand new £13m loan fund managed by Community Finance Ireland (CFI).

The unique Financial Transactions Capital (FTC) fund, made available by the Department for Communities, will be used to address social need through targeted funding to help communities meet objectives set out in the draft Programme for Government.

North Belfast based Crusaders Football Club is the first recipient of the loan fund for the installation of a 3G pitch at its Loughshore Road Grounds for use by its women’s and youth teams.

Donal Traynor, Group Chief Executive of Community Finance Ireland (CFI), welcomed the new tranche of funding. At a visit to Crusaders Football Club, he said: “This new programme offers the most substantial capital intervention to the social finance space in Northern Ireland, ever.

Pictured at the launch of the brand new £13m loan fund managed by Community Finance Ireland (CFI) and made available by Department for Communities for capital projects in communities across Northern Ireland, were Phelim Sharvin (Community Finance Ireland), Mark Langhammer (Crusaders FC), Sue O’Neill (Crusaders FC), DfC Minister Gordon Lyons, Donal Traynor (Community Finance Ireland), Tommy Whiteside (Crusaders FC). North Belfast based Crusaders Football Club is the first recipient of the loan fund for the installation of a 3G pitch at its Loughshore Road Grounds for use by its women’s and youth teams.

“As the most progressive community lender with over 20 years of history working with local communities in Northern Ireland, our team are ready to speak to community and social enterprise projects seeking financial support, and to channel the distribution and management of this capital.

“Loans of £10,000-£500,000 will be available for terms of up to 15 years, with no penalties for early repayment. Where community projects demonstrate a need for a larger loan amount, we can consider making match funding available.

“CFI has a current social value return of £3.42 to every £1 invested, meaning that we can help organisations to create significant positive change in their communities that far exceeds the face value of the loan. It’s an exciting opportunity for communities and we look forward to seeing the impact from projects like the new 3G pitch at Crusaders Football Club.”

Minister for Communities, Gordon Lyons said the scheme would provide targeted funding to the VCSE sector: 

“The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector is hugely important for our local economy, providing much needed employment opportunities as well as vital community support. It is great to visit Crusaders FC to see their plans for a new training base for their ladies and youth teams and meet some of the people who will benefit from the investment. As the Minister for Sport, I’m pleased to see projects which will increase participation in sport, encouraging people to be more active, more often.”

“The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector is hugely important for our local economy, providing much needed employment opportunities as well as vital community support. It is great to visit Crusaders FC to see their plans for a new training base for their ladies and youth teams and meet some of the people who will benefit from the investment. As the Minister for Sport, I’m pleased to see projects which will increase participation in sport, encouraging people to be more active, more often.”

Minister Lyons added:

“This scheme goes beyond the benefits these bricks and mortar projects will deliver. It also increases accessibility to facilities and builds community confidence, offering sports, cultural and social enterprises access to sustainable funding.”

Funding streams like this one can offer the VCSE sector a financial lifeline at a time when organisations are facing challenging budgetary conditions.”

Mark Langhammer, Crusaders FC Vice Chair said: “Crusaders Football Club are delighted to work with Community Finance Ireland in developing training facilities that will particularly benefit the female and junior sections of our club and surrounding area. The close relationship, added value and flexible nature of the finance provided by Community Finance Ireland best allows us to deliver on our plans and make modern football facilities available to everyone.”

The £13 million investment will be made by the Department for Communities in three tranches to 2025/26. £4.333m has already been released to the scheme and loans totalling £576k have recently been made available to three projects.

Community Finance Ireland will apply their existing business model to prioritise projects for investment and manage repayments; the investment will be repaid to the Department for Communities over 15 years from drawdown.

ENDS

Donal Traynor is available for interview via Alice Public Relations.
Contact: Julie Sherlock, Alice Public Relations, Tel: +447834 776519 Email:
media@alicepr.com

Link to DfC webpage

About Community Finance Ireland
Community Finance Ireland delivers social finance solutions that support local communities and drive social impact through sports, community projects, faith-based groups, and social enterprises. It is the most progressive social finance/community loans provider across the island and delivers a social return on investment that creates a multiplier effect of 3.42 times the initial investment.

Community Finance Ireland is part of the Ulster Community Investment Trust Group, established in Belfast in 1995 and now supports a diverse portfolio of clients across the island of Ireland from Bantry to Ballymoney, and from Dublin to Donegal.

Community Finance Ireland was recently awarded The Social Enterprise Mark- an independently assessed accreditation that recognises organisations operating as social enterprises. This means that they are using business to create social and environmental impact, and are committed to reinvesting their profits back into their mission.

Currently, Community Finance Ireland is the only Irish and UK member of FEBEA, the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks.

For further information, visit www.communityfinanceireland.com or @ComFinanceIrl.

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📢 Attention All Local Communities! 📢

Almost €9 million in funding is now available under the 2024 CLÁR (Ceantair Laga Árd-Riachtanais) programme. This funding is specifically aimed at supporting community and sports facilities nationwide, particularly in areas that have faced significant population decline.

Here is the breakdown of what’s available:

  • Measure 1: Grants ranging from €5,000 to €50,000 for community and sports facilities, youth clubs, playgrounds, sensory gardens, walking tracks, and more.
  • Measure 2: Support for voluntary groups providing free transport for cancer care, Community First Response Support, Search and Rescue organizations, and this year, meals on wheels services. Maximum grants of €50,000 for a car and €100,000 for a bus.
  • Measure 3: Aimed at supporting offshore island communities, with maximum grants of €120,000 for community transport projects and up to €50,000 for amenities projects.

CLÁR Programme 2024

At Community Finance Ireland, we understand that if your grant is approved you may need additional support in the form of accessing your grant via bridging finance. And this stage is often needed swiftly.

That’s why our local relationship managers are here to support you at that key stage in the overall process. Whether you are in one of Ireland’s most remote areas or not we’re dedicated to helping you drawdown that much needed grant award.

If you are interested in accessing CLÁR 2024 funding and need assistance on the drawdown of an approved grant, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team is committed to working with you make the most of a successful application.

Get in touch with Community Finance Ireland’s seasoned navigators who are here to help you access Bridging Finance.

More info from the department visit their website.

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Community Finance Ireland is recruiting interested parties to join its Board of Trustees. New trustees have an exciting opportunity to shape a new social enterprise that has an all-island footprint and the mission to ensure that Social Impact is felt, not just dreamt.

Let’s Make Lasting Change for Good

Our current Board works as an all-island team. Each member has different experiences and skills (their bios are here).

We are looking for the following to add to the existing Board’s strengths:

  1. Finance Trustee
  2. HR Resource Trustee
  3. Legal and Governance Trustee
  4. Public Relations Marketing and Communications Trustee

We Speak Finance, But We Hear People

As the most progressive social finance provider on the island, we welcome changemakers who:

  • Have a genuine commitment to advancing the sustainability of the Social Enterprise and Not for Profit sector and;
  • Demonstrate our values of Integrity, Quality and Empathy.

Application details are here.

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Community Finance Ireland in association with Rural Community Network and supported by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) have delivered a series of workshops to aid the coming together of communities who straddle the border regions, seeking to develop social enterprise.

23 participants from NI and ROI communities attended a series of residentials, workshops and mentoring sessions that culminated in a final event at Lusty Beg Fermanagh. Also in attendance were the Chair of International Fund for Ireland Paddy Harte, Frances Spence of Rural Community Network & CEO of Community Finance Ireland Donal Traynor.

Participants in the NetWorks23 Communities in Partnership Programme supported by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and managed by Community Finance Ireland in association with Rural Community Network in attendance at the residential workshop at Lusty Beg, Co. Fermanagh. Photo Credit: Paul Moore

The participants opened their minds to working collaboratively on a cross-border, cross-community basis to aid the development of social enterprises or community projects, working in varying areas of deprivation and legacy issues arising from the Troubles.

This unique pilot’s primary role was to support the ongoing peace and reconciliation on the island through the medium of social enterprise development. Delivered through collaboration between CFI and Rural Community Network, the IFI supported programme has certainly played a positive part in continuing that ambition.

With Orange Halls and GAA clubs working side by side the programme demonstrated that whilst culturally there may be differences, there was far more in common than realised. You can hear firsthand from Donal Traynor, Paddy Harte and some of the participants on how this project came about and their experiences and the benefits of being involved.

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With an impressive agenda and a packed hotel room social enterprises were out in force in Galway this week with an impressive line up of guests.

The event was a real collaboration of those in the area and involved in the ongoing sustainability of the social enterprise sector.

Thanks to SCCUL Enterprise Centre, LEO Galway, Galway City Partnership, Galway City Council and Galway Rural Development and Enterprise Ireland for pulling together to bring it about.

Our local Relationship Manager Mary Nohilly was in attendance along with inspiring ladies such Amanda Corbett of Brothers of Charity, Geraldine Ryan from Meals4health and Betsy Cornwell of The Old Knitting Factory and she had this to say:

“The event was well received with lots of key insights that will bode well for the ongoing sustainability and vibrancy of the social enterprise sector.”

Pictured at the recent Bizmentors Social Enterprise Community Event are left to right Amanda Corbett Brothers of Charity, Geraldine Ryan Meals4health, Betsy Cornwell Old Knitting Factory and Mary Nohilly Community Finance Ireland at the Harbour Hotel Galway

If you and your community facility need advice, get in touch today. We speak finance, but we hear people and we’re listening. 

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Fundraising is one of the key income sources for GAA clubs. Unlike most mainstream lenders, Community Finance Ireland takes fundraising and projected fundraising into account when considering applications for finance for GAA projects.

Our recent #Supporting Clubs On and Off the Pitch Webinars hosted by Aisling O’Reilly Off the Ball Sports Journalist and featuring some of the best GAA clubs in our communities, offered some really insightful and diverse ways that GAA clubs and volunteers are engaged in helping finance the ambition of their clubs and players.

Here are some of the innovative and most popular fundraising initiatives that are being delivered right across the island of Ireland. You may already have tried these in your club, or you may not but as everybody knows all ideas for financing and keeping the club open and vibrant are always welcome.

1. Club Lotto

Club Lotto remains a big earner for GAA clubs. When Covid struck, volunteers weren’t able to go door to door to sell tickets anymore and a number of clubs moved their lotto activity to online. As one of our clients Jim Codd from Ballyhea GAA in Munster told us, at times the Club Lotto can account for up to 30% of our income.

2. Coffee Mornings and Bake Sales

Who doesn’t love a delicious treat? Host a coffee morning and invite the local community to come along. From Rice Krispie squares and millionaire’s shortcake to cupcakes and brownies, everyone can bring along their baked goods to sell, with the profits going into the club’s coffers.

3. Fundraising Walks

During the pandemic, the activity that saw the biggest rise in participation was walking. As a result clients like Knockananna GAA (Co. Wicklow) and Kilcoo GAA (Co. Down) invested in off pitch facilities such as floodlit walkways. Our own Client Relationship Manager for Munster Nora Keogh said that sponsored fundraising walks are a great source of income for GAA clubs as well as great family events:

“My daughter’s football club in West Limerick has the sponsored walk back again this year. The kids are delighted to go out and get €2 off each of their relatives for taking part. It’s only a small amount but it all adds up. It’s great to see and it’s a great family event on the day.”- Nora Keogh, Community Finance Ireland.

4. Golf Classics

The GAA continue to use other sports outside the realm of Gaelic Games to assist with raising funds for their club. One example that our client Jim Codd at Ballyhea GAA referenced was that of a recent Golf Classic, where a combination of players or volunteers created golf teams to compete against each other with all funds raised going back into the club.

5. Strictly Come Dancing Competitions

Add some sequins and sparkle to your fundraising activity with a Strictly Come Dancing style competition. Pair your GAA players with local community volunteers and sell tickets for a weekly dance off to see who knows their sliotar from their salsa.

6. The 300 Club

After meeting with Community Finance Ireland and setting specific and realistic fundraising targets, Freddie McInerney from Newmarket-On-Fergus GAA Club in Co. Clare explains how they set up a 300 Club:  

“We created a 300 club. We got almost 300 people to sign up over a four year period in which we asked for a donation of €5 per week, €250 a year or a quarterly or sign up on direct debit. People were very generous with some offering €1,000 upfront. We created a team of eight people dedicated solely to this fundraising activity. There were two lads in particular – Thomas Reagan and Darren Dugan who went out and collected probably the bones of €100,000 themselves, talking to people, ringing people, cajoling people and getting them to bring money in. So, in the end we got an awful lot of people signed up.”- Freddie McInerney, Newmarket-On-Fergus GAA.

7. Family Fun Days

With many GAA clubs now the hub of most communities the ability to offer family fun days for their members and their wider community is now a reality. Bouncy castles, Mr Whippy vans, face-painting, arts and crafts and fun and games are almost as likely to be found as the footballs or hurls.

8. Car Boot Sale

It’s an oldie but a goodie, but with us all trying to repurpose or resell rather than put items in landfill the car boot sale is a fantastic way to raise funds as well as reduce waste.

9. Table Quiz

Hosting a table quiz is a simple but effective way to bring in some extra cash and a great way to add some entertainment to the line up at the club house bar. A simple eight round event can be used to test your membership’s knowledge on a variety of subject. Maybe even include a specialist round about your club’s history.

10. Scrap Metal Collections

Scrap metal is valuable in high quantities and rural clubs have been jumping on the opportunity for years. It’s easy to raise money by asking farmers and people in your village for their unwanted scrap metal at a collection point so it can then be sold on. It doesn’t cost the community anything and in fact you’re providing a service that they would otherwise have to pay for.

“When we started fundraising initially, we wanted to find things that are a negative cost to people, so we ran a scrap collection, initially that can bring anything from €2,000 to €10,000 depending on when you are running it and how much people have in their backyards that they want to get rid of.”- Jim Codd, Ballyhea GAA.

Our thanks to all the club members or volunteers who participated in our webinar series this summer and for sharing their insights and experience. If you missed these webinars, don’t worry- you can play them back here. In the meantime we speak finance, but we hear people. Click here and the local client to reach out to the local Client Relationship Manager in your area.

#Supporting Clubs On and Off the Pitch.

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Ballymacash Sports Academy, based in Ballymacash outside Lisburn, Co. Antrim has been able to install a new floodlit 3G pitch, car park and spectator fencing thanks to a Social Finance loan from Community Finance Ireland.

But this is just the start of the club’s ambitious developments. As Chairman Phil Trimble comments:

“It feels like the building work going up is us just getting started. There is an unstoppable force, an army of volunteers, coaches, people behind the scenes and our committee who put in phenomenal efforts to make the club what it is. It’s a brilliant place to be with a great vibe. It’s all really really positive.

In addition to providing sporting facilities on the pitch for their members, they have teamed up with local community development organisations to create a community garden and allotments which has had lasting social impact for the groups involved. One such community group led by Karl Bothwell said:

“We’ve been kindly welcomed in by the Ballymacash Sports Academy. Our young adults come here three days per week and they work at the allotments, planting vegetables and then they take the vegetables they have grown and donate them to local foodbanks and homeless charities.”

Two young adults tending to their allotments at the Ballymacash Sports Academy

Since 2016, Community Finance Ireland has supported 166 sports clubs, social enterprises and organisations from across the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland, with a total of £18.1 million in social finance loans, with £5.6m of that going to sporting organisations like Ballymacash.

Peter Smyth, Client Manager at Community Finance Ireland added:

“In the case of Ballymacash Sports Academy, the improved facilities has led to an increased sporting success by the club and greater usage by local schools and groups. The collective ambitions and efforts of the committee and the wider community is admirable and one that we were keen to support with social finance funding. Often capital projects like this one creates new facilities, but it also helps build momentum and shows that the club committee is delivering on the club development plan.”

During the BBC’s coverage of the Ballymacash Rangers v Glentoran match on 2 February, the broadcaster kindly featured the community’s efforts. You can play this back here at 1:13:40 in.

If you and your community facility need advice, get in touch today. We speak finance, but we hear people and we’re listening.  

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Last Friday night was a night that will go down in history for Donegal boxing club Illies Golden Gloves Boxing Club. The small club based in the foothills of the Donegal Mountains in Buncrana won big at the Ulster Boxing Council IABA Elite finals.

Two of their boxers triumphed on the night with Cahir Gormley being crowned the 67kg champion and Matthew McCole coming away with not only the 71kg title but was also announced as the Best Boxer of Championship.

Illies Golden Gloves Boxing Club’s Matthew McCole is declared 71kg Champion and Best Boxer of the Championship.

Speaking about his win, Cahir said:

“It’s a big win for me. I won schoolboy titles and probably fell short around youth level, but I kept at it, kept working hard and it’s starting to pay off now. I want to be one of the best elites- that’s what I’m aiming for. We’re going to the top, this is only the start of it.”

This sense of determination and ambition is one shared throughout the club. Cahir’s teammate Matthew McCole, who was also victorious on the night, had disappointing performance at last October’s Irish elites, and wasn’t sure whether he had any future in the sport. But with the support of the Illies Golden Gloves coaches he was encouraged to continue competing. Matthew remarks:

“I boxed poor in the last Irish elites, I didn’t know what I was going to do after that. Them boys at the Illies Golden Gloves were asking me to go to the Ulsters and I was like ‘I don’t know’. We got sparring with Aidan Walsh over Christmas but, even after that, I still wasn’t sure. I could’ve taken the easy option, Jon was Irish number two at the weight last year, but I thought if I’m going to do it, I’ll do it the hard way.”

Matthew McCole, Cahir Gormley and the coaching team from Illies Golden Gloves Boxing Club celebrate their success at the Ulster Boxing Council IABA Elite Finals.

Set up in 1998, Illies Golden Gloves Boxing Club’s ambition is not just in the ring but also to develop their facilities for the wider local community. The club approached Community Finance Ireland back in 2016, when they were awarded the finance to purchase their training facilities at the Lisfannon Industrial Estate in Buncrana and to carry out works to make premises fit for purpose as an amateur boxing club.

Mary Nohilly from Community Finance Ireland who works with the club, was overjoyed with the results, saying:

“This is a fantastic result not only for the two lads taking home the titles but also for the whole team behind the scenes who have contributed to their success. A lot of work has gone into developing the club’s facilities to give the young people of Buncrana a place to train in the sport of boxing and these two titles are the result of that work paying off. A huge congratulations and hopefully a sign of more success to come!”

If your sports club has a project in mind, but needs the funding or advice on how to get started, get in touch with Community Finance Ireland today.

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Today (Friday 19 January) is National Popcorn Day. With that in mind we asked some of our team what their favourite movies of all time are. With a wide range of interests, their suggestions have a bit of something for everyone.

This weekend why not grab a blanket, stick on your pjs, grab some popcorn (salted or sweet?) and curl up on the sofa with one of these classic movies.

Or better yet visit your local independent community cinema and see one of the latest releases. It is awards season after all and there are some fantastic films to choose from.

Donal Traynor- Group Chief Executive: Forrest Gump (1994)

What Donal had to say: Forrest Gump is a fantastic film with Tom Hanks doing a star turn in the lead role. The message at the heart of the film really underpins the theory that ignorance is bliss, and that the main obstacle to one’s ability to achieve is the internal fear of thinking what might go wrong. Just do it!”

Lita Notte- Head of Marketing and Communications: As Good As It Gets (1997)

What Lita had to say: As Good As It Gets is a Manhattan love story with hilarious characters and one of the most memorable scripts ever. Some of my favourite lines are when Jack Nicolson says: “You make me want to be a better man”, or when Helen Hunt’s character says, “Why can’t I just have a normal boyfriend?” or when Jack tells the cleaning lady, “Sell crazy someplace else – were all stocked up here…”. There are just so many great lines. A genius script played brilliantly by the full cast.”

Nick Heath- Front Office Administrator: High Fidelity (2000)

What Nick had to say: “My favourite film will often depend on my mood day to day, but one I love is High Fidelity. The film is very relatable and having worked in a few record shops myself, most of the scenes in Championship Vinyl I have actually experienced in real life. For me, John Cusack is a total bromance material, if given the choice I’d have him play in me in my biopic. And then there’s the soundtrack- so many great songs from The Jam, Velvet Underground, Aretha Franklin, the Kinks and Bob Dylan. Finally, Natasha Gregson Wagner is completely wonderful (and Natalie Woods daughter no less).”

Emma Thompson- Finance Executive: Jurassic Park (1993)

What Emma had to say: “That is a very tough choice to choose just one. But if pushed, I think I’d go for Jurassic Park and the sequels and new Jurassic World movies (except the most recent one, Dominion was a real stinker).  I love Jurassic Park for the nostalgia. I loved watching as a kid and love rewatching now as an adult. It always makes me wonder what would happen if they did manage to bring back dinosaurs.”

Barry Connolly- Chief Financial Officer: Star Trek II Wrath of Khan (1982)

What Barry had to say: “I am a huge Sci-Fi fan and in particular love all things Star Trek. Wrath of Khan is easily the best of the Star Trek films. A submarine thriller in space, with great script, acting and proper old school special effects before CGI made everything overblown. Influenced by Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, and Milton’s Paradise Lost, and addressing themes such as aging, loss, and redemption, this is a much deeper film than your typical sci-fi flick. And of course: Khan!!!”

Mary Nohilly- Client Relationship Manager: Dirty Dancing (1987)

What Mary had to say: I’d have to go for Dirty Dancing. I loved the soundtrack when I was a teenager and watched it many times and would sing along to all the songs with a hairbrush! I loved how the story unfolded and the chemistry between Baby (played by Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (played by Patrick Swayze). Now when we go on campsite holidays I think back to this movie and wonder if the dancers and entertainment crew have these wild secret dance parties. I also hear there is talks of a sequel coming in Summer next year. I wonder if it will live up to the original?

Nicky McElhatton- Social Media and Marketing Manager: Juno (2007)

What Nicky had to say: “I first saw Juno in a cinema in Leicester Square in London. I hadn’t heard anything about the film before going to see it. While I waited in the dark movie theatre, they were playing these strange, but funky wee indie songs. Little did I realise that it was the soundtrack for the movie by Kimya Dawson. From that point I was hooked. The music forms such an integral part of the film and couple that with the fantastic screenplay from Diablo Cody, the effortless but hilarious acting from now household names like Michael Cera, Elliott Page, JK Simmons, Alison Janney and cracker one liners that I still quote to this day- “that ain’t no etch a sketch homeskillet! That’s one doodle that can’t be undid!” After my first watch I saw the film another three times in its initial cinema run and have watched it countless times since on DVD and streaming.”

Pauline Carolan- Office Administrator: Moulin Rouge (2001)

What Pauline had to say: My favourite film is Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! I absolutely love everything about it: the spectacle, the theatrics, the drama and the unique take on music! Luhrmann is fantastically visual and has a real unique directorial style which I have loved in all his other great film Elvis, Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet – you know immediately when you’re watching a Baz Luhrmann film and I just love it!

Phelim Sharvin- Head of Community Finance (NI): Carlito’s Way (1993)

What Phelim had to say: One of my favourite films is Carlito’s Way. A brilliant storyline, a bit of a love story set in a gritty/crime environment with a twist at the end. The acting is brilliant, particularly Al Pacino. I enjoy a wide range of genres from Crime, Drama, Action to Historical, tending to stay away from Fiction/Sci Fi.

Independent Community Cinema and the Arts is just one of the many sectors that Community Finance Ireland support through our Social Finance lending. For more information on Community Finance Ireland and how we can help your next community project, get in touch today.

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With support from Community Finance Ireland, Kilkenny County Council, and Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, Gowran on the Move will open a new state of the art, inclusive outdoor community hub in Spring 2024.  

Nestled in the heart of Gowran village, the Gowran Outdoor Hub is a one-of-a-kind project designed to bring community, wellness, and inclusivity to the area. It’s set to feature a 300-metre walking/running track, multi-use courts (tennis, basketball, and football), and an inclusive playscape for all ages/ abilities.

It will deliver a space that prioritises safety and inclusivity, catering to people of all ages and abilities, as well as fostering community engagement and strengthening social bonds by providing a space for people to gather, play, and connect, encouraging physical activity, contributing to overall health and wellbeing.

At the centre of the project is the state-of-the-art castle-themed climbing frame, the first of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. The equipment is designed with inclusivity at its heart and children of all abilities can use the facility. It’s a flagship project to bring together all ages and abilities in an inclusive social environment welcoming all and helping to combat marginalisation.

Gowran On the Move Community Finance Ireland Social Finance
Local children test-drive the new state of the art inclusive play area.

Thanks to our support and the support of the Kilkenny Leader Partnership, Kilkenny County Council, the Town and Village Renewal Grant, and other fundraising activities the initiative has already secured €395,000. Construction has already begun, with the play equipment and courts already taking shape. The project is estimated for completion in spring 2024.

Denis Hynes, the Chairperson for Gowran on the Move said:

“We’re beyond excited to finally see our long term vision start to rise from the ground. We truly believe this one-of-a-kind project will inject fresh energy into the heart of the Gowran community. We’re now appealing to local people, businesses and organisations to help us with a final fundraising push to get the project across the line in time for a spring launch.”

Gowran Hub Community Finance Ireland Social Finance Funding
The Gowran on the Move Committee on site as the Outdoor Hub begins to take shape.

Barry Symes, Community Finance Ireland’s Head of Community Finance for the Republic of Ireland was thrilled that we could help make the organisation’s ambitions a reality, saying:

“It is such a joy to see the progress being made on the Gowran Intergenerational Outdoor Activity Hub project – an all-inclusive project that will bring life to the community of Gowran and be enjoyed by all children and their families for many years to come. At Community Finance Ireland we support a huge range of community and volunteer-led projects from sports projects to social enterprises to faith-based groups, but they all start with an idea and a group of people who want to make it work.

Mick, Denis and the team at the Gowran Hub project came to Community Finance Ireland with an idea and we were delighted to help them make it a reality. This group has long established roots in their community and it goes to show, when you have a vision for your local area, and the drive to create that change, there’s no limit to what you can do. If you would like to support the project in their fundraising goals, get in touch with Denis or one of the committee members

If your community group has a project in mind, but needs the funding or advice on how to get started, get in touch with Community Finance Ireland today.

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