Heather Humphreys TD Minister for Rural and Community Development on a whistle stop tour of West Waterford opened the four office blocks owned and promoted respectively by Tallow Enterprise, Lismore Business Park, Cappoquin Regeneration Company, and Villierstown Development Company on the Thursday the 10th of November.
She visited each of the locations in Tallow, Lismore, Cappoquin and Villierstown to formally open each facility. Her presence is an acknowledgement of the importance of local groups working collaboratively with the State to promote economic activity in smaller rural towns. It is also an acknowledgement that each area must take responsibility for economic development.
The Office Blocks were funded primarily through LEADER under the Dept. of Rural and Community Development, Philanthropic funding from Tomar Trust and local funding from the Voluntary Groups. Waterford LEADER Partnership CLG assisted the Groups in the process and Waterford City & County Council and the Local Community Development Committee were very supportive throughout the planning process and the actual build. The collective investment is just under €3m in the four towns.
The four Office blocks are state of the art facilities. All are in the town bounds and within walking distance of facilities. In line with good environmental practice and town centre regeneration, all four facilities have been constructed on vacant or brown field sites.
While the new offices are a significant step forward, the four groups with assistance from Waterford LEADER Partnership CLG have created a legal entity called the Blackwater Economic Development CLG to promote and develop economic activity in the Blackwater Valley. The reason for the joint action is that the four towns collectively can offer nearly every facility that one would find in a much larger town, as well as proximity to Cork, Waterford and the motorway. The BEDZ offers a way to provide the critical mass that is often a weakness in single smaller towns trying to promote economic activity.
BEDZ can be contacted through their website www.blackwatervalleyedz.ie