Last month, at a presentation given by Eilish Lawlor to Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce, the good news of substantial progression on an upgrade of the town’s playground was shared. €123,000 sourced from grant funding and local fundraising has been allocated to the project, thanks to the marvellous work of a committed few, with match funding now being sought to bring the project to completion.
The current playground on the by-pass road is in a dilapidated state and its refurbishment has been a key aim of Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce, which established a committee to drive the project.
Cork County Council has now agreed to lease the playground to the Chamber for the duration of the works and, following a competitive tendering process, Browne Bros has been chosen to carry out the work, which will include extensive resurfacing, removal of most of the existing equipment and installation of 26 new items.
In her presentation Eilish explained that, “Outdoor play supports cognitive and social development but unfortunately children became less physically active during the pandemic. Our research shows that more people would use the playground if it was improved; families and tourists are currently travelling outside of Clonakilty to access better facilities.”
In keeping with Clonakilty’s autism-friendly plan, the new playground is designed to be fully inclusive, with Junior and Senior play areas, and sensory areas.
To total cost of the refurbishment is €190,000 and to date the committee has secured a €100,000 grant from LEADER with a further €23,000 raised through donations and local fundraising.
The project is now poised to begin and the playground will close for two weeks in either May or June for works to be carried out with the new playground open to the public in Summer 2022.
Pandemic restrictions have severely limited public fundraising opportunities in the past few years but bridge funding from Clann Credo is in place until further pledges can be secured to cover the shortfall. The committee asks that the public please support their fundraising efforts in coming weeks. If you would like to make a pledge please contact the chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org.