The Government has sanctioned €500,000 for the proposed upgrade of Granard Town’s library facilities, it was announced this week.
Following on from last week’s Leader, revealing how local politicians had made renewed efforts to advance the project, Environment Minister Phil Hogan this week approved funding for renovation works.
The monies provide for the expansion of Granard’s present 600 sq ft facility to one spanning over 3,000 sq ft.
The €500,000 ring fenced for its long awaited refurbishment still falls some way short of the project’s anticipated €1.2m cost, but has nonethless been greeted with general acceptance politically.
It is anticipated additional finance covering further works will be drawn down at a later stage, allowing the first stage of renovations to be allocated to the library’s ground floor.
“With the costs of labour coming down, hopefully we will be able to get a bit of added value,” said Cllr PJ Reilly.
The Fianna Fail dual mandate representative said the news marked an end to one of the region’s longest running episodes.
“Several representations have been made, not by just me but by many others. Granard Town Council has put an awful lot of effort into this too,” he said.
It’s unclear as to when council executives will open the project to tender. Cllr Reilly said the “next couple of months” would reveal more as he spoke of other additional options that could potentially be added to the library redesign.
“I am looking at trying to get a sub office of the county council brought in too,” he revealed. “This would be of great benefit to people to transact their business instead of them having to go into Longford the whole time.”
Another to indicate his acceptance of Monday’s announcement was Cllr Micheal Carrigy. Paying special thanks to Longford County Council and county librarian Mary Carleton Reynolds Cllr Carrigy pointed to an article contained in last week’s Leader. In it the Fine Gael representative revealed he met with the Environment Minister in recent weeks to keep the library project on the political agenda.
The release of the €500,000, he said, signalled the first step in bringing state of the art library facilities to Granard.