€4.594million from Rural Regeneration Development Fund announced for redevelopment of Valkenburg Complex into community arts and amenity centre for Ballinrobe.

Today is a red-letter day for the people of Ballinrobe as significant funding is approved to develop the Valkenburg Hotel into a community arts and amenity centre. This project will regenerate an iconic and vacant building on the main street of Ballinrobe to provide a multi-purpose facility, tourism accommodation, conference and meeting facilities and a community café. The project will contribute to the social and economic regeneration of Ballinrobe by redeveloping a key cultural building for the use of the whole community.

South West Mayo Development Company CLG (SWMDC) made the application to the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF) on behalf of the Ballinrobe Civic Arts & Amenity Company (BCAAC) earlier this year. SWMDC worked hand-in-glove with the voluntary board to prepare and submit a top class application which highlighted the need for the funding, and the added value this investment will bring to the town.

On hearing the announcement Paul Gibbons, SWMDC Chairperson said, “Our team worked with Michael Sweeney, Chairperson (BCAAC) and his voluntary Board to prepare this successful application. I would like to publicly acknowledge Deputy Michael Ring and Cllr Michael Burke’s support, which was instrumental in securing this funding for Ballinrobe. I would also like to thank Mayo County Council for supporting our application, which was most welcome.”

There was also significant political support from Minister Dara Calleary TD, Alan Dillon TD, Senator Lisa Chambers, and local Councillors Damien Ryan and Patsy O’Brien who worked hard to bring this additional funding to south Mayo and Ballinrobe.

A special mention must also go to Minister Heather Humphreys who awarded this funding to Ballinrobe. Sabina Trench, SWMDC CEO commented, “Minister Humphreys’ commitment of €4.6million to Ballinrobe town is a huge confidence boost. It shows that she believes in this project and its potential to be a gamechanger for the south Mayo area. As the only Local Development Company awarded funding under this round of RRDF announcements, we are very grateful to the Minister for showing such faith in SWMDC and our ability to deliver this project for Ballinrobe.”

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