Minister Humphreys opens new Monksland Innovation Hub and community park

Members of the Monksland Town Team pictured with Minister Heather Humphreys, Roscommon County Council Chief Executive Shane Tiernan, the contractor, and Cllr John Keogh (Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council) on the occasion last Thursday of the official opening of the new Monksland Innovation Hub. Photo: Gerard O’Loughlin

Minister for Rural and Community Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, visited Monksland on Thursday, May 23rd, to officially open a new Regional Innovation Hub and to turn the sod on a planned new community park.

The Regional Innovation Hub, spanning 14,000 square feet, aims to be a major driver of local enterprise and job creation, providing a high-quality environment for entrepreneurs with full support from local and regional agencies.

Funded by the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF), the total project cost of €4.25 million includes €3.2 million in grant funding and just over €1 million in matched funding provided by Roscommon County Council.

The project was initiated by Roscommon County Council in consultation with Monksland Town Team and the local business community. Works on the project were carried out by Coolsivna Construction Group Ltd from Mountbellew, Co Galway, with design support from Collins Boyd Architects.

Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council, Cllr John Keogh, highlighted the significance of the Innovation Hub for Monksland: “The small and medium-sized business sector is the lifeblood of our local economy”.

Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council, Shane Tiernan, praised the development: “This exciting development further cements this region’s reputation as the main industrial and economic driver of the county. It also enhances the life sciences cluster that has long been and now is firmly rooted in Monksland.

“This RRDF-funded project focuses on establishing an Innovation Hub centred around the Life Science industry in Monksland, with ‘hands-on’ support aimed at fostering enterprise and jobs in new and growing sectors.

“This Innovation Hub supports the overarching objective of the current Regional and Spatial Economic Strategy, which designates Athlone as a regional growth centre under the Government’s National Planning Framework”.

During her visit, Minister Humphreys also turned the sod on the new Monksland Community Park. This project is being delivered through Town and Village funding of just over €750,000, with approximately 9% matched funding from Roscommon County Council and Monksland Town Team. The park will feature a multi-use, multi-generational area with play areas, a skate park, a shaded dwell area, trails, seating, lighting, and a car parking facility.

The project is intended to provide connectivity between residential and commercial areas in Monksland and includes a biodiversity area and a performance space with tiered seating.

The park’s design was undertaken by Building Design Partnership (BDP), and construction is being carried out by Kenny Civils and Plant Ltd, with an expected completion date in the final quarter of this year.