This week’s LEADER Spotlight focuses on how ILDN member SECAD, and Clann Credo Community Finance came to assist one of the most successful emerging organisations of the 21st Century – the Men’s Shed.

Carrigaline Men’s Shed group was formed in 2012 and started out in portacabins situated on land at the rear of a newly built housing estate. As has been the case nationally, the Shed quickly became an important focal point for men in the community.  When it emerged that there were plans to build on the site they were using, the group immediately began looking for a new location.  After negotiations with Cork County Council, they found a suitable local site and their next phase of development began!

Having relocated their portacabins to their new site, the group set about developing plans for a purpose-built facility with workshops, sitting room area, kitchen, and storage areas.

With their vision clearly identified, the group started fundraising and working with their Local Development Company, South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD).  The group were successful in securing a LEADER grant from SECAD that provided a major portion of the finance needed for this ambitious project.  Clann Credo was able to assist the project with both a bridging loan and a term loan helping the group to get the project going quickly and provide the matching funding required by the LEADER programme.

The group are now at the final phase of the development, and it won’t be long until members can enjoy their new home!

Discussing the evolution of Carrigaline Men’s Shed, the Carrigaline Men’s Shed Project manager Aidan Winters said; “Men’s sheds provide very valuable places for men especially those unemployed, underemployed, or retired to socialise and get involved with projects, learn new skills and find a sense of purpose.  The Carrigaline Men’s Shed runs metal & wood workshops that are very popular with members, and they also contribute to their community by providing stewarding for charity events, wood engraved trophies for races & competitions, and providing drivers for local bus services.

 “The most critical phases 3 and now the final phase 5 development were only made possible by Clann Credo bridging loan and term loan facilities. These provided the ‘development- critical’ cash flow allowing the shed to take advantage of grant aid.  Notwithstanding the many Covid challenges, Carrigaline Men’s Shed with Clann Credo’s support have succeeded in expediting development which is now near to completion.” 

ILDN member SECAD works with a range of different clients and stakeholders in rural areas including community and voluntary groups, disadvantaged target groups, job seekers, businesses (including private and social enterprise), farmers, schools, and the corporate sector.

SECAD has evolved as an organisation managing a single funding programme into a platform managing a wide range of funds and services including, social investment and employment support programmes implemented on behalf of a number of Irish Government Departments and State Bodies. SECAD currently delivers a number of major programmes along with other smaller schemes and initiatives.

SECAD Partnership is an Implementing Partner of the LEADER programme in parts of South Cork and West Cork on behalf of the South Cork LCDC (Local Community Development Committee) and the West Cork LCDC (Local Community Development Committee).