A new purpose-built community hub is to be opened in one of Longford town’s most troublesome areas for anti-social behaviour.
Local authority chiefs have handpicked a premises in the Ardnacassa area of Longford town in a bid to strengthen various state agencies in their efforts to improve the estate’s socio-economic fabric.
The move, which forms part of a broader and well-touted Joint Action Plan initiated by Longford County Council and senior garda management in 2018, was announced at a meeting of Longford Community Safety Partnership on Monday.
Community safety coordinator Janine Bartley also revealed how plans were also afoot to revive a cross-agency task force in a bid to breathe new life into the project.
“This is one of the actions included in our community safety plan and there is talk about regenerating the Ardnacassa Joint Task Group which was formed under the Joint Policing Committee with the Gardaí and Longford County Council,” she said.
“That is due to reconvene but what we can confirm is Longford County Council are allocating a new, larger community facility on Palace Crescent.”
Ms Bartley said the new premises would replace an existing one and enable a greater cross-section of community-based organisations to both operate from it and offer services to local residents.
“It’s a larger property and more services will be able to work out of there,” she said.
“We have a number of key service providers identified in the community to develop a centre of activities there which include LCRL, Longford Women’s Link, Sports Partnership, Community Education and the Traveller Healthcare Programme.”
A funding application to adequately resource the new facility is expected to be made with the building itself due to be open to the public later this summer.
Local councillor and community safety partnership member, Seamus Butler said he believed the announcement was a step in the right direction.
“With Covid, things fell away somewhat but it is very welcome news,” he said.
“If the right resources are put in place, things can improve quite substantially and it (Ardnacassa community hub) can become a model for other areas to adopt.
“But the key to it is resources and that's what's needed.”
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