Durrow Development Forum are delighted to have secured a grant totalling €200,000 which was announced on Friday, October 5th. Over the past number of years, the Forum have been busy planning for the conversion of the former Methodist Church/ICA hall for community use.

However, in recent months the adjoining Civil Defence hall has become available and the Forum have opted to purchase the site and include it as part of plans for a multi-use community centre. Funds raised from the last few Scarecrow Festivals have been used to draft plans and purchase the former Civil Defence hall which will now be developed over the coming months and years ahead. The plans for the centre will be lodged with Laois County Council in the next few weeks and it is hoped that if approved works can then commence.

The overall package of grants to small towns and villages across Laois County have totalled €870,000 whilst neighbouring Offaly county have secured €1.3m. Overall €21.2m has been allocated to projects across the country. Across Laois county the projects funded are as follows: Borris in Ossory Development of a new town park/ public amenity and looped walkway – €40,000; Camross Village Hub – €55,649; Clonaslee Upgrade the Community Centre €85,245; Durrow – Conversion of existing buildings to community centre €200,000; Errill – Build sensory and biodiversity rich garden in village centre €20,000; Mountmellick – Enhancements to Community Art Centre €98,000; Mountrath – Renovation of part of former convent school for community €100,000; Portarlington – Enhancement, increased accessibility and security in Portarlington People’s Park €100,000; Rathdowney – Village enhancements €40,000; Timahoe – Village Enhancements €76,000.

The above grants include an additional €284,032 going to projects under the Community Enhancement Programme scheme.