RAPID is a Government initiative that targets 45 disadvantaged urban areas in the country. Sligo town was awarded a RAPID Programme in 2002 and this means that five designated RAPID areas of Sligo Town can receive priority: Cranmore; Forthill / Cartron Estate; Garavogue Villas / Doorly Park; St Josephs Terrace / St Bridget’s Place / Pilkington Terrace; Maugheraboy / Jinks Avenue / Tracey Avenue.
Nationally, the RAPID Programme aims to:
The programme is implemented locally by an AIT (Area Implementation Team) consisting of representatives from key agencies and co-ordinated by the RAPID Programme Co-ordinator. The Programme is monitored by SIM (Social Inclusion Measures Group) at county level and the NMC (National Monitoring Committee) chaired by Minister Eamon O’ Cuiv at national level.
“To work together with a common purpose to eliminate disadvantage within the five RAPID areas of Sligo Town”
After the announcement from Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform / Pobal regarding the success of the two Community-based CCTV applications a proposal for CCTV in Cranmore and Forthill was progressed through the following process:
Voluntary and community groups working in RAPID areas of Sligo Town are asked by Government Departments to seek endorsement of funding applications from the RAPID AIT so as to ensure coordination of resources and strengthen the applications that are being submitted. During 2006 the AIT reviewed the endorsement process in Sligo and has adopted guidelines to issue to groups seeking endorsement to simplify the process. A number of applications were endorsed under the Sports Capital Programme and Dormant Accounts Fund, and many were successful. The AIT takes very seriously its responsibilities around endorsement and measures are being taken to revisit successful projects to remind them of their obligations towards RAPID residents.
Currently there are two community representatives on the Sligo AIT, who represent all five RAPID areas. Community participation on the RAPID Programme is still evolving and recommendations were made by Fitzpatrick’s Consultancy to adapt policies relating to community representation. Accordingly, changes will be made to involve a Community Representatives Team, allowing communication between three community reps who will sit on the AIT.
A number of Leverage Funding schemes have been put in place by the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in partnership with both national and local agencies for each of the designated RAPID areas throughout the Country in 2006. Sligo benefited from these schemes in the following areas:
Funding was announced in 2005 for the provision of Acorn Park, a children’s playground in Cranmore and this was formally opened in September 2006. A code of practice was developed by the community, for the responsible use of the playground.
The Mercy Convent area in Pearse Road, Sligo was seen as a traffic black-spot during school collection and drop-off times, through the AIT, an application was made for the Traffic Calming Leverage Grant and provision of a lay-by was soon completed. Sligo Borough Council matched funding and this initiative was provided in a very short timeframe.
Preparatory works for the playground in Cranmore were necessary before the play area could be provided – so for this reason the HES grant was utilised in Cranmore in 2006.
A new initiative was launched in 2006 relating to the provision of equipment, furniture and other small capital items. This was in response to requests by AIT’s for educational funding in RAPID areas. National and secondary schools servicing RAPID areas are eligible to apply for funds from the Department of Education and Science.
A number of applications were successful under the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF) in 2006 including:
The Special EU Programmes Body and the Irish Central Border Area Interreg IIIA Partnership awarded grant aid funding of €1,275,000 under Priority 1 Measure 1 to the Seaside Towns Initiative, with a minimum of 25% matching funding being provided by the local authorities involved in the project. Sligo County Council is lead partner for the project which runs until December 2007.
This funding is being used to undertake environmental improvements in specific seaside towns located in the five council areas of Sligo, Donegal, Moyle, Coleraine and Larne. This cross-border project is designed to bring together local authorities to share knowledge and technical expertise which will result in mutual economic, social and cultural benefits.
The aim of the project is to enhance the profile and significance of the Seaside towns through support, enhancement and promotion of a sustainable tourism product.
This will be achieved through joint local authority coordination of new product development, existing product enhancement, sectoral involvement, marketing and promotion between Sligo County Council, Donegal County Council, Larne Borough Council, Moyle Borough Council and Coleraine Borough Council.
As part of the marketing initiative a web site was established – www.seasidetowns.ie. The web site will be updated with details of the various projects and currently contains information on the Sligo and Donegal projects.