Durrow Development Forum Announcement – December 2018
DURROW DEVELOPMENT FORUM: Durrow Development Forum is a voluntary community organisation, set up in 1997. Our mission is to enhance the social, economic, physical and environmental aspects of the village. We work closely with Laois County Council and Laois Partnership and over the past 20 years we have been instrumental in the following:
- Part VIII planning for the square rejuvenation project (of which phase one is completed).
- Durrow Heritage Action Plan 2012-2015.
- Durrow Architectural Conservation Area Study July 2010.
- Amenity and Landscape Scheme, The Square, Heritage Impact Assessment.
- Durrow Village Design Statement.
- Laois Tourism Plan, Laois Heritage Plan and the County Development Plans.
- Durrow Sustainable Communities Plan.
- Securing the Playground, Library and Museum.
- Completion of Phase 1 of the restoration and rejuvenation of the square project (costing €573,123).
- Phase 2 of the Square plan has been confirmed by Laois County Council. This will involve limestone kerbing around the smaller green areas, removal of overhead cables and defining parking and wheelchair parking and paving all the paths. This will cost in the region of €500,000. This will no doubt be one of our biggest achievements to see the completion of the Square project.
Mill Wheel Area and last year the lighting of same along with upkeep of the Old Bridge.
- Tae Lane Famine Memorial.
- Purchase and preservation of the Old Methodist Church (ICA Hall).
- Purchase of the Old Civil Defence hall.
- Planting of bulbs and hedges on approach roads.
- Planting and supply of bulbs for the hanging baskets, large planter and flower pots.
- Supply of ornamental decorations for the amenity areas.
- Development the Leafy Loop Walk which is a 21km walk around Durrow This is a Failte Ireland accredited walk and brings over 1000 people to Durrow every month.
- Planted and maintained beech hedging and daffodils on the approach roads.
- Supply, installation and maintenance of Christmas Lights.
- Implemented and grew the Durrow Scarecrow Festival into Durrow with visitors estimated to be in excess of 27,000 which is of great economic benefit to the village, all money taken into the festival goes directly back into our village including some of the projects mentioned above.
We were delighted that Durrow Tidy towns became a subcommittee of Durrow Development Forum in 2017 and in the last year we have acknowledged how much work the CES scheme does and we have supported them by purchasing a tractor and trailer, lawnmower, edging machine, strimmer, water butts and more Christmas lights. In the coming year we will continue to support the CES scheme including providing €3,000 for the petrol to cut the grass throughout the year.
Funds from previous festivals and next year’s festival will go into the development of a new and modern community centre which will facilitate local groups, organisations, clubs and help set up groups. We are delighted with volunteering in the community and how so many of you come on board at different times of the year to assist in keeping the village vibrant. We were equally thrilled that the Scarecrow Festival Volunteers were recognised in the Laois Community and Volunteer awards coming first in their category and it was a great acknowledgement for all you do in our community.
Our plan going forward is to develop a shared vision for Durrow.
- We aim to continue to promote Durrow as a Tourist Destination.
- Continue to work with Laois Co. Co. to complete Phase 2 of the Square Plan to see it’s completion.
- To protect our natural environment by working closely with the relevant government bodies to ensure that all future development will be compliant with the relevant standard and to protect and respect our woodlands, rivers and open spaces.
- To further develop the ICA Hall and Civil Defence Complex as a community hub.
- To complete a walking heritage trail around the village.
- To encourage new businesses into our area.
- To continue to support the CES Scheme in assisting with keeping Durrow Beautiful.
- Improved Lighting throughout the village.
- Improved Footpaths and lighting up to Sean Doire on Cork Road.
- To fully restore the Methodist Church and incorporate same into a new Community Hub which will enhance and suit Durrow (expected cost €900,000).
The Development Forum would sincerely like to thank all of our community for their continued support.