The Attic Youth Café in Longford town is to receive €60,000 in Local Government funding, the Longford Leader learned last week.
Before Longford Town Council was dissolved it had committed to the provision of €30,000 to the youth club, which is currently renovating a new centre on the Ballinalee Road. However, during last week’s budget meeting, Longford Co Council confirmed that not only would it provide the €30,000 as previously promised, it would match the amount and hand over an overall allocation of €60,000 over two years.
The funding comes amid troubled times for the Attic Youth Café.
Despite numerous visits to the club from ministers and the Taoiseach himself, in the run-up to the local elections, no money was forthcoming and plans for development were stalled.
“This €60,000 is a huge boost to the organisation,” Leader at the Attic, Ruth McGarry Quinn told the Leader. “Basically our plan was to develop the building. However, we are still waiting to hear from government in relation to funding,” she added. “At the moment it looks like we will have to develop in two phases, with phase one starting next year.”
The plan is to refurbish the existing house and convert an office space, bathrooms and an IT/training suite.
“Then the outdoor space would have to be looked at for phase two,” Ms McGarry Quinn continued. “That would be used for sports and recreation; unfortunately, we applied for funding through sports partnership for this, but were not successful this year, so we will try again next year. We purchased the house based on the fact that we would be getting LEADER funding, but we have not received any. However, I am very confident that we will get there.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Peggy Nolan (FG) welcomed the decision by Longford Co Council to provide €60,000 to the Attic.
“This is great news but they were promised funding from central government and nothing has been forthcoming,” she fumed. “All the visits from ministers, and even Enda Kenny came to see the facility, and still no money. However, I am expecting an announcement for the Attic very soon at Government level.”