The community spirit in Pomeroy is buzzing with news that a number of major projects are edging closer to being realised.
Work is due to begin on a new £1.2m Cavanakeeran Community Centre at St Mary’s GAA grounds next year and now St Mary’s Primary School has secured funding for a new £160,000 floodlit 3G football pitch.
The news comes as the hugely successful ‘Santa’s Magical Forest’ prepares to open on Saturday evening. Around 5,000 people are expected to pass through the community run enterprise over the next three weekends.
A tender for the 3G pitch project is due to be appointed before the end of December, with work commencing in the new year.
The bulk of the funding, a total of £100,000, has been secured from the Department of Communities as part of an initiative to fund projects at three schools across the North in the maintained, controlled and integrated sectors.
St Mary’s PS in Pomeroy has succeeded in winning the funds for the maintained sector. The remaining funding will be provided by £30,000 from the Department of Education and £30,000 from Mid Ulster District Council.
The new 3G pitch is expected to cater for both soccer and GAA, with hopes that it will be opened to public hire during evenings and weekends.
It’s another major boost for the village, which is edging closer to realising a new community centre on the grounds of Pomeroy Plunkett’s GAA grounds.
Cavanakeeran Community Centre will offer new state-of-the-art facilities for the local GAA club, but will also offer a new focus point for community and social activities in Pomeroy.
Fundraising is well advanced for the project, with £266,000 recently secured from the Mid Ulster Local Action Group.
Pomeroy is also in the running for an EU funding bid as part of the PEACE IV programme, with an announcement due in early 2018.
The bid includes ongoing regeneration plans for the local forest, but the community centre project could benefit to the tune of £400,000.
Depending on the level of funding, work could begin within weeks.
Local fundraising is also continuing this weekend, with proceeds from ‘Santa’s Magical Forest’ going toward the community centre project.
The annual Christmas enterprise has grown to become one of the North’s most popular, with all tickets selling out within a single day at the end of September. At least 100 volunteers are involved.
Local councillor Cathal Mallaghan said the ongoing community driven projects represent a major boost for the village.
“Pomeroy is an area where there hasn’t seen very much public money invested in it over the last number of decades,” he said.
“But over this last wee while we are starting to see that being reversed and it’s down to the very hard work of the local community.”