Community groups in Athlone, Moate, and other areas of the Midlands received positive funding news this week with the announcement that they are to receive five-figure and six-figure grants from the State.
The funding recipients include the Athlone Community Radio company which received €112,532, and Midlands Amenity Park Limited, which operates Dún na Sí in Moate and was awarded €89,099.
The ATK Community Centre Company, which is behind St Kieran's Community Centre in Athlone was given a €20,133 grant, and Moate Community Development got €72,266.
In addition, the Athlone-based Midland Warmer Homes Company received €112,532, and South Westmeath Employment, Education and Training Services was awarded €112,465.
The funding allocations were awarded under the Community Services Programme (CSP) which is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The CSP supports community-based organisations delivering vital services through a social enterprise model, and provides a contribution towards the cost of employing staff in CSP supported organisations.
John Madden, chairperson of the board of Athlone Commmunity Radio, said the station appreciated the continuation of this annual funding which, he pointed out, has been in place for the last eleven years.
He stated that the funding contributed to the employment of "eight core staff who are responsible for leading, developing and delivery of our Social Enterprise by providing support and training to volunteer broadcasters, administration and governance of the project, ensuring compliance with all funders and compliance with our Broadcasting Authority of Ireland licence."
Additional fundraising is required by Athlone Community Radio in order to cover "the costs of the day to day running of the station for items such as insurance, heat and light, broadband, equipment, music licence, etc," he said.
Local Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran welcomed the groups' funding allocations, saying: “I would like to thank Minister Ring for his support to the constituency following my representations to him on the importance of the funding for so many local organisations.”
The list of Westmeath and Longford recipients is here: