Garrison Village Renewal Project
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is leading the Village Renewal Scheme included within the Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group Interim Strategy under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.
The aim of this project was to renovate a derelict building situated in the centre of the village as a vibrant and versatile space that could be used by the whole community. The project was identified within Council and was an action within the Garrison Integrated Village Action Plan which aims to improve the quality of life of the local population and to contribute to the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the village.
Driven by this aim, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council sought funding under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme via the Village Renewal Scheme and an application was submitted to Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group in December 2018.
Garrison is a small village located in West Fermanagh close to the border with both Leitrim and Donegal. It has always had very strong social, communal, educational and economic links with both areas. Garrison’s biggest strength has always been its population’s sense of identity and their community spirit. In recent years, the village’s population had grown, with no corresponding expansion in the facilities for either young people or the elderly. Despite having a strong infrastructural base, the village had poor overall levels of service provision.
Following consultation with the local community, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council commenced the process of developing a purpose-built community hub.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council was awarded £149,211.70 to renovate a derelict building in the centre of the village into a purpose-built community facility to offer an innovative solution to addressing access to basic services to the local community.
The new community facility provides a state-of-the-art facility that is a hub for numerous activities that meet the demands of the demographics in the area including health and well-being workshops, educational and employability workshops and cross community and cultural workshops.
This new facility undoubtedly increases participation and social interaction and enables the community to expand the range of services and encourages sustained use of the service hub.
In addition, the revitalisation of the derelict building that had been left empty for a number of years has been ecologically designed to keep ongoing running and maintenance costs low for the community to sustain.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council confirmed that maximising the use of existing facilities in rural areas, like this one is important for rural communities. To ensure the success of this project it was vital that we built relationships with the communities in Garrison to ensure that the purpose built centre was exactly what the community had envisaged and would welcome a vast range of service providers.