There is a palpable air of excitement around Boyle this Christmas ahead of a number of planned developments that will positively change the future of the town.
A number of the developments were made public at the launch of the Boyle 2040 plan in November and they include:
- The Lough Key to Boyle Greenway
- The remodeling of the former Royal building and associated public realm enhancements
- Refurbishment of the 2nd gate lodge in Rockingham into short term letable accommodation
- Planned sports facility on the Termon Lands
- Making Boyle a Cycle Friendly and Age Friendly town
- A major expansion and new development at Drumanilra Farm Kitchen
- The Boyle Rooms project to create accommodation in the town centre
- The refurbishment of Frybrook House for additional accommodation
- A proposed Whiskey Distillery at the former Boyle Mills
- The now completed remodelling of the Shambles area
Since the 2040 plan’s launch, funding of €500,000 has been obtained for the Greenway of which detailed design will commence in early 2019 once guidelines are obtained from the relevant Government department.
Funding of €10,000 has also been secured for the Cycle Friendly initiative and the erection of climb signs including gradient markers should commence in January. Other plans under this scheme will be completed by summer 2019.
€200,000 has been secured for preliminary work on the former Royal building and the project has successfully passed the Part 8 planning stage. Council officials are currently preparing tender documents for removal of asbestos from the site/buildings and the demolition of outbuildings. It is expected to go to tender for these works in January 2019 with works to then commence in Q1 of 2019. The works would also include a welcomed clean up of the building and site.
Other proposed works on and around the Royal include:
- Refurbishment works to the original main structure (hotel building)
- Works to include roof repairs, replacement of windows, repairs/painting of interior/exterior walls, replacement of floors, removal of exterior window shutters, installation of a lift to the rear of the original building and installation of heating/lighting equipment.
- Construction of a River Side Promenade with a canoe dock, lighting, seating and landscaping.
- Constriction of new Civic Space with acoustic shell, lighting, seating and landscaping to the rear of the original main structure
- Associated site and ancillary works.
According to a Council spokesperson: “The completion of the totality of the above works is subject to the RRDF funding application being approved in early 2019″. (This refers to an application for €2.9m which has been made under the RRDF fund, the result which should be known late January/early February).
The spokesperson added: “Should funding be approved, there will be a requirement to appoint a consulting firm to prepare detailed design and tender documents for the majority of the works outlined above. It would be hoped to commence these works in Q4 of 2019″.
Termon Lands Sports Facility
Another exciting project that is currently being planned for Boyle is a sports complex on a portion of the Termon Lands. A committee made up of representatives of a large number of sports and community groups in Boyle has been meeting throughout 2018 to ascertain the feasibility of this development.
It is planned to build training pitches for Boyle Celtic and Boyle GAA clubs, an outdoor tennis court and basketball court, an outdoor bowling green and a flood lit outdoor running track with associated parking etc. Fishing stands will also be constructed on the adjacent Boyle river while a large portion of the land will be retained for grazing as has been the case heretofore.
Investment is welcomed
Chairman of Boyle Town Team Brian Nerney said: “The level of state funding into Boyle in 2018 has been unprecedented. In the last few months the Team, along with Roscommon County Council, has secured €810,00 and we anxiously await news on the application for €2.9m for the Royal site which is one of the last pieces of the jigsaw for phase one of Boyle 2040. An exciting 2019 lies ahead for the town. I would like to pay tribute to the Team members along with Roscommon Co Co, Senator Frank Feighan, Deputy Denis Naughten and Councillor John Cummins who have all worked closely together to get the necessary funding to get these projects to fruition” “I would also like to thank Minister Michael Ring and his department for believing in Boyle, including the town in the National Development Plan and awarding the necessary funding”. Brian also drew attention to the close cooperation that now exists between the various organisations in Boyle, a cooperation that has been a catalyst in moving the town forward, he noted.
Chairman of Boyle Chamber of Commerce Michael Keville said “There are a number of positive and exciting projects earmarked for the town in 2019. The expected infrastructure and development benefit from the Boyle 2040 plan will see plenty of opportunities. From a tourism point of view, the development of and completion of the Greenway to Boyle will bring greater footfall to the town from the hugely successful Forest Park and this is most welcome. The development of the Royal Hotel site and the benefits that will bring from an employment point of view and also improving the aesthetic look of the river bank is also welcomed”.
Senator Frank Feighan remarked that it has been an extremely positive year for Boyle. “As we near the end of 2018, our town, thanks to the hard work of many people, has taken major strides forward on a number of fronts. And I strongly believe that the developments which I will highlight presently mark the beginning of great days ahead. For too long, Boyle had been severely impacted by recession and magnified by the fact it is not a county or regional town.
However, I want to applaud the wonderful local effort over the last number of years to breathe new life into Boyle through a structured approach, manifesting itself in the unveiling of the Boyle 2040 development blueprint under the auspices of Boyle Town Team. This approach which provides a solid platform for external funding is the way forward for our town and many towns around the country.
The Boyle plan feeds directly into the Government’s Project Ireland 2040, and I am very pleased that I succeeded in ensuring Boyle was specifically referenced in this national development plan.
Significantly, this means that Boyle will be at the top of the priority list when it comes to funding. Thankfully, all of this great work is now beginning to reap major dividends and in the last quarter of this year already, our town is getting preferential treatment in terms of funding.
The hard evidence is there: €500,000 allocation to develop a cycleway between the Boyle and Lough Key Forest & Activity Park; €200,000 funding for Town Centre Development and €100,000 to fund a pilot scheme to attract more people to live in the town centre.
I am also very proud to see the ongoing development of Lough Key Forest & Activity Park and its facilities. 17 years ago, I successfully brought Roscommon County Council and Coillte on board to leverage EU funding of €20m to invest in the park’s infrastructure. Our wonderful natural amenity has now become one of the top visitor attractions nationwide.
Much is in place now but the final piece in this particular tourism jigsaw is to secure the provision of a hotel to cater for the growing increase in visitors”, Senator Feighan concluded.