Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon warmly welcomed the approval of funding for the Rathangan Community Centre. “I have been in constant contact with Minister Hogan over the past number of months to highlight the importance of the project. I know from my dealings with Paddy O’Loughlin and his hardworking committee the enormous effort they have put in to getting the project this far and I look forward to the completion of this vital project for the community of Rathangan”.

Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government announced today that he has given sanction for County Kildare LEADER Partnership to approve funding of €493,091, to Rathangan Community Association Ltd. for the redevelopment of a community centre at Rathangan, Co. Kildare under the Basic Services for the Economy and Rural Population measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.

Announcing the funding Minister Hogan said:

“This project will be of immense benefit to Rathangan with it’s total project costs of €657,455, I know it will improve the quality of life and will strengthen the social and economic fabric for all the inhabitants of the area.”

The LEADER elements of the Programme offer many challenges and opportunities in terms of addressing the needs of improving the quality of life in rural areas and providing greater opportunities for farm diversification. It is focused on the development of micro-enterprises, rural services, rural recreation and rural tourism. It is hoped that, by focusing on these services, the Programme will lead to sustainable development, which in turn will ensure prosperity for the rural areas.

The Minister added “the project will now go back to the Board of County Kildare LEADER Partnership for the final approval on the project. This is in line with the EU’s “bottom-up” approach to rural development”.