In this week’s LEADER Spotlight, we look at how ILDN member Longford Community Resources, and Clann Credo – Community Loan Finance assisted the development of the Attic Youth Cafe in Longford.
The Attic Youth Café was first established in November 2006 operating initially on a rental agreement with the Temperance Hall offering Youth programmes, activities and initiatives as well as a drop-in service for local young people. With over 2,500 young people engaging with the youth café on an annual basis, the service quickly outgrew its location in the Temperance Hall.
Following an extensive fundraising campaign and the allocation of grants from Longford County Council, Longford Enterprise Board, and the Dept. of Children and Youth Affairs, a new designated youth facility was developed in 2015 and was called the Attic House Teen project.
The project incorporated a building to house the reception, offices, toilets, meeting room and tech room. Adjacent to the main building is the Log Cabin Building, a central youth space where youth groups and activities take place on a weekly basis.
In a further expansion of activities, a Parkour training park (an obstacle type course for ‘free running’) was developed at the rear of the building. A Community Garden is also being developed on the site.
Soon, even more space was needed to provide new programmes that were informed by a needs analysis of young people. The Attic group worked with Longford Community Resources and were successful in obtaining LEADER funding to construct a new Log Cabin at the rear of the house which now houses a demonstration kitchen and meeting space. A bridging loan from Clann Credo enabled the work to go ahead without delay and LEADER funds to be drawn down.
ILDN member LDC Longford Community Resources clg (LCRL) is the integrated local development partnership company for County Longford. The core purpose of the company is to promote rural development and tackle social exclusion and LCRL does this through various programmes including the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme and the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).
Established in 1995 LCRL provided the first major opportunity for the community, voluntary and state sectors to work together to identify and plan a coordinated response to the challenges facing the county. One of its main roles is to support integrated local social and economic development through the management of programmes that promote social inclusion and equality. Currently LCR manage and administer the following programmes:
- Rural Development Programme (Leader)
- Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP)
- Rural Social Scheme (RSS)
- TUS Programme
- Traveller Primary Healthcare Project
- Longford Volunteer Centre
- County Longford Youth Service