Abbeyshrule Tidy Villages Association — supported by Longford Community Resources
The Abbeyshrule Tidy Villages Association was supported by Longford Community Resources Ltd to access LEADER funding in 2011 and 2012 which enabled them to complete impressive village enhancement works. The group received €85,755 in LEADER grant aid which was used to create a greener, more energy efficient and beautiful village with a range of cultural and leisure activities available. These improvements aimed to improve the quality of life for residents but also to help in attracting tourists to the area.
The village improvements included replacing old, inefficient street lighting with new high energy efficiency light bulbs and poles and removing all overhead cables to create a more aesthetic village which can encourage tourism in greater numbers.
The group also undertook a project aimed at promoting the village as a tourism destination and has developed www.abbeyshrule.com, as well as a smart phone application which will open up the village to an ever-growing number of people that rely on mobile internet as an information forum. Both the website and the smartphone app contain a wealth of valuable village information which benefits locals and visitors alike.
Finally, the group has undertaken works to enhance a walking trail along the river at the rear of the Rustic Inn. As part of these works, the group created a mural depicting all of the local historical and cultural intricacies of the village, including the importance of the canal in the context of the village as a whole. Associated works include Street & Window furniture, Flags & Flagpoles, Plants & Shrubs, Bog Oak Benches & Seating.
Supporting the Local Economy
The village enhancement works supported local jobs as a number of contractors were engaged by this voluntary group, during the course of the various projects undertaken by the group to date.
The village enhancement works that the group has undertaken, have helped to transform this beautiful rural village into the winner of the National Tidy Towns Awards and an Entente Florale Gold Medal winner for 2012. This not only puts the town on the map from a national tourism perspective, but it will also be of enormous benefit to local businesses, safeguarding existing jobs in the area as well as providing new jobs within service and associated industries.
Philip Butler, Chairperson of Abbeyshrule, says that
“Without the funding which we have accessed through Longford Community Resources Ltd, we would never have been able to undertake the range and breadth of projects which we have developed in Abbeyshrule over the past few years. The 75% funding which we have received has allowed us to be ambitious in developing a village that is attractive both to those that live in it, and to those that wish to visit. The merits of the RDP programme are there for all to see in Abbeyshrule. We would encourage groups to avail of the funding which is available under this programme because it represents an excellent opportunity for communities to develop projects which would not be possible through their own resources”.