2004 was a very busy year for both the Community and Enterprise Office and the Arts Office.
From a community development perspective we endeavoured to enhance further Sligo County Council’s role in working with local community groups and voluntary organisations throughout the county in the economic and social regeneration and development of their areas. The administration of the Urban & Village Renewal Programme, the CLÁR Village Enhancement, the County Council Led Peace II Task Force, the Community & Voluntary grant scheme, the Arts Grant scheme and the Pride of Place Awards allowed us to work with communities in improving their areas physically, socially or culturally.
In 2004, we promoted and encouraged the numerous community organisations active in the County to take part in the Pride of Place Awards and Riverstown community were highly successful in achieving the National Award in 2004.
The County Council Led Task Force, through funding from Measure 4.2 of the Peace Programme, supported the development of signage product branding and the marketing of all community tourism attractions in the County.
Our work in assisting the Community Forum to grow and expand the area foras in line with the local electoral areas commenced in 2004 and the building of the capacity of the Forum will be an important task in our work programme in 2005.
An integrated working group on Tubbercurry was established in November 2004 whose role is to look at ways of planning for and facilitating the physical regeneration of the town within the remit of the County Council. In 2005, it is planned to expand that group further to adopt a more integrated approach to developing the town economically, socially and culturally.
2004 also saw the expansion of services available in Teach Laighne with the NWHB (now HSE), FÁS and Citizens Information Centre all having a presence in the Centre.
Teach Laigne was officially opened as the public services centre for South Sligo on 26th March 2004.
A new cross border initiative called Seaside Towns Initiative was developed and funding secured from the INTERREG III Programme. This initiative involves the two seaside towns of Enniscrone and Mullaghmore. Community & Enterprise Directorate has the lead role inco-ordinating this cross border programme. Our cross border partners are Donegal County Council, Moyle District Council, Buncrana Town Council and Coleraine Borough Council.
The Community & Enterprise Office also commenced work on the development of a Play Policy and Play Plan for Sligo in 2004. This will be completed in 2005. In conjunction with this, play facilities are now being provided in Ballymote and Dromore West and the existing play area in Tubbercurry will also be upgraded. Sligo County Council will be insuring and supervising these facilities in line with the play policy.
2004 was a busy year for the Arts Office as the implementation of the current Arts Plan “The Brightening Air” entered its penultimate phase. The development of a web based arts information project www.sligoarts.ie was commenced to support the promotion of Arts Festivals in Sligo. A wide variety of projects were carried out to promote inclusion in the arts in conjunction with other agencies like the NWHB, SLPCo., and local communities. The Public Art Officer oversaw the commencement of five art commissions in 2004.
The Cranmore Regeneration Project was developed and put in place in May 2004 by the Community & Enterprise Directorate. This project has come about as a result of the RAPID Programme, Cranmore being one of the Sligo designated cluster areas in Sligo Town.
The construction of 25km of broadband in the Metropolitan Area Network around Sligo Town also commenced in October 2004. This will enhance Sligo’s potential as a location for investment in the years ahead. Funding was secured for this project from the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.
We look forward to continuing our work and supporting local communities in Sligo in the years ahead.
Director of Services, Community, Enterprise & the Arts