SCHULL Harbour Development Company had a top-level meeting with Minister Simon Coveney and Senator Tim Lombard recently to seek support for its €6m project.
Having twice failed to secure funding under the rural regeneration programme – which is designed to fund multi-million-euro projects that benefit entire communities – the group are determined that it will be third time lucky for Schull.
Senator Lombard confirmed that the meeting with Tom McCarthy, chairman of the organisation, and its secretary, was held in his constituency office in Bandon on August 31st last.
According to the senator, the project, which is 20-years in the making, could cost €3m with a further €3m required in matching finance locally.
Senator Lombard said: ‘The closing date for applications for the next round of funding is December 8th, but first the Schull Harbour Development Company must convince Cork County Council to select it as the Council’s priority project.’
Last time round, Macroom and Kanturk secured rural regeneration funding and West Cork got nothing. Given that West Cork has suffered greatly from recent flooding, Senator Lombard suggested the region could be given favourable consideration, especially a worthy project like Schull’s.
Senator Lombard pointed out that the Schull group includes members of the fishing community, local school links, as well as other water users, and the finished project – which would include an extension of Schull, the installation of a breakwater, as well as a marina – would benefit all concerned.
He said it was significant to point out ‘all permissions are in place and the fact that it has been entirely led by the community, as well as being funded by voluntary contributions, should be enough to support the case for Schull’s inclusion in the 2021 rural regeneration programme.
Senator Lombard said: ‘The economic impact of this project is huge. It is estimated that it could bring an additional €2.5m in revenue to the Mizen, not just for one year but every year.
‘A project like this would pay rich dividends not just for Schull but for all of West Cork.’