WORK will commence shortly on the construction of a Community Enterprise Centre in Dunmanway.
It is envisaged that the project will create 10 jobs during the construction phase and up to 30 jobs on completion
The 10,000 sq. ft. building will comprise three commercial units each measuring 2,500 sq. ft. in addition to a 2,500 sq. ft. enterprise unit which will incorporate a hot-desk area providing space to local organisations and businesses for meetings, presentations, lectures and training courses.
The development of a Community Enterprise Centre was initially recommended in the Dunmanway Integrated Development Strategy published in 2007 by the Dunmanway Inter Agency Committee.
A committee was formed by the Dunmanway Enterprise Network, the town’s business association, who, with the assistance of the West Cork Enterprise Board (now Local Enterprise Office), commissioned a feasibility study.
This study identified the need to promote enterprise, create jobs in Dunmanway town and to develop modern, commercial space to service both startup companies and those looking to expand their current business.
Chairman Peter Walsh. said that this is a very welcome and timely development for the town of Dunmanway and its hinterland and represents the culmination of several years of hard work by a dedicated and determined committee.
Planning permission was secured for the development and after a competitive tender process the Contract has been awarded to local contractors, Hurley & White Builders Limited.
The project is estimated to cost €1m and the funding will include a maximum grant of €450,000 from Enterprise Ireland with Cork County Council providing funding of €355,000 from its Economic Development Fund whilst also providing the site on which the Enterprise Centre will be constructed.
The committee is funding the balance by way of a loan from Clann Credo’s Social Investment Fund and through local fundraising.
They have already run some successful fundraising initiatives, most notably a night at the dogs together with financial pledges from approximately 50 local businesses.
The group will be embarking on further fundraising initiatives shortly and are anticipating that they will be well supported by both local businesses together with the wider community to ensure that the project will be a sustainable enterprise. The committee already has firm commitments from two local companies that are looking to expand.
Commenting on the project, County Mayor Cllr. John Paul O’Shea said: ‘This is an ideal opportunity for the town of Dunmanway and for the rural hinterland for which the town covers. The establishment of a community enterprise centre is a rural town like Dunmanway showcases the partnership approach to enterprise and economic development that is evident in Dunmanway and indeed throughout the County of Cork.’
Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey added that Cork County Council is ‘committed to supporting rural communities, such as Dunmanway, through sustainable developments such as the Community Enterprise Centre’.
The project will be funded through Cork County Council’s Economic Development Fund, an initiative piloted to support economic activity by ring fencing 1% of the County’s Commercial rates on an annual basis.’