(To view the photos click the 'View Gallery' button and scroll through with the arrows - Photos by Jason McGarrigle)

An official launch and celebration of the contribution of Leader funded projects took place at the Inver Community Centre on Thursday last. Although the event showcased the recently developed Renewable Energy Project and the Heritage Stone Garden, the day was also about showcasing the work of Donegal Local Development Company and in particular the Leader Programme which has contributed immensely to the centre and several similar projects throughout Donegal.

Speaking at the launch, Jim Slevin, Chairman of DLDC said:  “The development of Community Centres like this one does not happen overnight, it takes several phases to get to where we are today. And although DLDC assisted in providing funding to the two projects which are being launched here today, we are also very pleased with the companies contribution overall to this Centre with the LACDP Programme, the Tus Programme, The Rural Social Scheme and previous Leader funding for several phases including the Stage, the Commercial Kitchen and the IT Suite, all contributing to the success of the centre.

“Although our Board were delighted to provide leader funding towards these projects, we acknowledge the commitment and input from the local committee whose idea and vision has taken us here today to officially launch these marvellous projects. In approving the project, the Board also acknowledged the tremendous effort and highly skilled people within the committee, which has built up over the years from working within Community Development.

“Through the LEADER programme, our Board prioritise projects, which assist in the diversification of the Rural Economy which in turn can provide employment and help improve the quality of life for rural dwellers. Our Board is always aware of the local links and assistance which LEADER can provide to the local community including farmers and fishermen which in turn can help to improve the family incomes of those who earn their living working in Rural Areas,” he added.

“The aim of the LEADER Programme is to encourage individuals and community groups to develop innovative enterprise and community facilities throughout Donegal. Today, we see projects, which are an excellent example of LEADER type initiatives. In the present climate, the importance of creating sustainable modern facilities and employment cannot be ignored and there is no doubt that this centre will indeed create jobs both directly and indirectly within the Tourism Sector in Donegal.

On behalf of Donegal Local Development Company, I wish to congratulate the committee on their achievements to-date and wish them every success with helping to improve the quality of life in and around the Inver area,” Mr. Slevin said.

Speaking on behalf of the Inver Community Centre, Chairperson, Paula McNulty spoke of the tremendous contribution from all sectors towards the development of the centre to date. Not least that of the Board and Staff members Geoff Solly and Frank Kelly of DLDC, their Board and LEADER, her hard-working committee, staff of the centre and the entire community of Inver. She also paid tribute to both the RSS and Tus participants and supervisors for their support and the support of the LACDP.

Newly elected Cllr Noel Jordon, who officially opened the impressive Heritage Stone Garden, also paid tribute to all concerned as did Alec Reid who officially launched the newly fitted Renewable Energy Project.

The Inver Community Playgroup finished off the day with a sample of their very enjoyable entertainment.

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