Conor Cleere (KLP), Mary Kelly (treasurer, Muckalee Community Centre), Declan Rice (CEO KLP), Ger Murphy (Chairman, Muckalee Community Centre), Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick and Maura Tynan (community centre)
Development of an eagerly-awaited new community centre with a shop and café is set to soon begin in North Kilkenny.
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership is supporting the local community in the regeneration of Muckalee village, through financial support to develop the centre to include a community-run shop and café.
The volunteer committee in Muckalee have worked tirelessly and innovatively over the past number of years to bring life back to the village. With their fundraising efforts and the support of the local community, coupled with the significant financial support of both Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and its partner, the TOMAR Trust, the dream is about to become a reality.
Development will begin shortly, as soon as the current Nphet and government restrictions allow. The contract for construction works on the centre was signed at a recent socially-distanced event in Muckalee.
Both Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and TOMAR Trust, in their joint focus on the emergence of community shops and cafés, have supported rural communities over the last number of years to halt the decline in rural villages.
The closure of traditional rural shops has meant that a lot of small villages no longer have focal points that can reduce the social isolation, leaving many vulnerable people isolated and without retail and other services.
Both Billy’s Tea Room in Ballyhale and Lakeside Tea Rooms in Windgap have shown that volunteer led community facilities can play a huge part in breathing new life back into rural areas. The two pioneering community shop/ café facilities, pre Covid, played a significant role in combatting rural isolation, while providing much needed basic necessities for rural communities.
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and TOMAR Trust have pledged to continue to support local rural communities to regenerate the hubs of rural and village life through financial support and advice and guidance to realise volunteers’ ambitions.