Granard tourist visitor centre
given major funding boost

Padraig McGauran, Paul Flood, Padraig McGivney, Chairman Fr. Simon Cadam, Philip Smyth, Marc Roosli, Seamus Gorman and Padraig McNamara. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Plans to create a state of the art visitor attraction centre to Granard moved a step closer this week thanks to an additional funding boost.

Plans to create a state of the art visitor attraction centre to Granard moved a step closer this week thanks to an additional funding boost.

Elected members from Granard’s Municipal District agreed in principle to set aside 50 per cent of the €15,000 committee members need to carry out a feasibility study on the project.

Councillors approved ring-fencing €5,000 from their annual Municipal allocation with a further €2,500 expected to come from the county’s tourism committee.

The pledge was made after local representatives were given a detailed rundown of how the project is currently progressing.

Padraig McNamara, one of two representatives from Granard Motte Community Enterprises, said over €100,000 had so far been raised in its attempts to deliver a 15 acre tourism hub to Granard.

“To date, we have raised €105,000 which includes €10,000 secured by ten members on the executive,” he told last week’s meeting.

This follows confirmation first revealed by the Leader last January which saw the group reach agreement with NAMA officials to acquire a premises and site near to the motte.

Mr McNamara said the purchase of property would set the committee back around €265,000 and the committee hoped that €200,000 of that would be funded by LEADER (LCRL).

In order to make those aspirations a reality, Mr McNamara said the group was now reliant on local authority financial support.

“We are asking for €15,000 from you now so we can apply for €200,000 later this year when LEADER is announced,” he said.

Mr McNamara admitted the funding requirements, while large, would provide the springboard for Longford’s economic and tourist potential going forward.

“I know that Longford is not a wealthy county, I am well aware of that. And I understand resources are stretched.

“However, Granard Community Enterprises does need your support and we think €15,000 is an excellent spend of resources to draw €200,000 into the county.”

A visual likeness of how the centre might look upon its completion was also presented to councillors.

They included models of walking trails, spectacular scenery and water based attractions, images which were met with the unanimous approval of those present.

Fine Gael Cllr Micheal Carrigy said he had no doubt the proposed centre would draw visitors from across the country before Cllr Martin Mulleady asked if the matter could be brought up at county council level.

Members from the Granard Municipal area will seek the remaining €7,500 in funding from the Council’s overall budget at its March meeting.