Westmeath allocated €1.7m under Community Recognition Fund

Westmeath County Council has been allocated €1.7m under the Community Recognition Fund.

The funding is specifically targeted for projects located in communities, towns and villages that are hosting the beneficiaries of temporary protection from the war in Ukraine and/or international protection applicants.

Last year, Westmeath's allocation of €1.7m went towards funding a range of projects across the county, including €150,000 for an upgrade to the astro pitch at Grange; €50,000 for an upgrade to Mullingar Swimming Pool; €165,000 for the renovation of Castlepollard Community House and €125,000 for a looped walk in Kinnegad.

The news of the latest funding allocation has been welcomed by both Minister Peter Burke and Deputy Robert Troy.

Minister Burke says that the funding will be spent on projects that will benefit entire communities.

“This fund was established to recognise significant efforts that have been made to accommodate Ukrainian refugees and others around the country and to support community efforts to continue to integrate these groups into our society.

“Westmeath will get €1.7m of this fund, while Longford will get €893,000. The Community Recognition Fund is important funding directed right into the heart of communities where I know great efforts are being made.

“The local authority, in consultation with community groups can fund projects that will see long term benefits for all and I would urge community groups to contact the Council and pitch projects that could meet the criteria. Some of the projects that would be applicable include the development or refurbishment of community or cultural facilities such as community halls, play areas, parks, allotments.

“There is also scope for development or refurbishment of local clubs and sports facilities, as well as enhancing after school facilities in a community setting,” commented Minister Burke.

“Transport infrastructure, such as community vehicles, could also be considered for funding and improving access.

“We all want to see positive projects, making real impact and improving outcomes in what are difficult situations for those fleeing their homelands,” concluded Minister Burke.

Deputy Troy said that the Community Recognition Fund gives communities across Westmeath an opportunity to create a more inclusive and enjoyable environment for everyone.

“By investing in facilities and organisations that facilitate integration and community participation, we are building stronger communities that embrace diversity while promoting social cohesion.

“I know communities the length and breadth of the country have really stepped up to the plate in recent months in terms of welcoming families from Ukraine or those seeking asylum from other countries.

“This funding is about recognising the efforts and the generosity that so many communities have shown during what has been a challenging time for our country. “