Newtownhamilton Rural Community Association

November 11, 2013

It is with great pleasure and excitement the Newtownhamilton Rural Community Association is pleased to announce that as of Friday 25th October the £246,000 grant aid that was awarded to the group by SOAR, ( Southern Organisation for Action in Rural areas)  to ensure the completion  of the former St. Michael’s GFC football club house, has been finalised.  This major cash injection was awarded by SOAR after the committee of the Rural Community Association, had to undergo a thorough and detailed application.

This application focused on financial projections, business and recreation plans to satisfy the funding body SOAR,  that as a committee – we had the belief, skills, passion and community backing to finish the building that was erected in St Michael’s GFC football grounds.  This “new build”  was erected on 19th July 2007 and was planned to replace the existing club building, known as the “youth club”  which is in a state of disrepair.  The roof and windows went on in May 2009 and was plastered in August 2009.  A large amount of work was completed voluntarily and is a testament to the community spirit of the local people.  Unfortunately the recession took its toll on the border town of Newtownhamilton and the development of the former club house halted.

The building which is situated on the Dundalk Road, is a fabulous size and has excellent potential to serve the whole community of Newtownhamilton and the surrounding areas.  The NTH Rural Community Association was set up in 2011.  The committee is chaired by Peter Quinn and has local representatives from the entire community, all of whom worked hard to submit the application required to avail of the funding.

The first steps of  NTH Rural Community Association,  was to distribute questionnaires to all sections of the community and the unanimous opinion indicated there was a huge need and desire for a community building in Newtownhamilton, to hold functions such as parties, fundraising events, youth club services, education classes and recreation such as “keep fit” activities and gymnasium.

Under the guidance of Rosemary Hughes, our SOAR representative, who has been very helpful and supportive to the association committee, to ensure all the vital paper work was in order to avail of this very generous and much needed boost of funding to ensure the development of this new community building.

Tenders that have been issued to several businesses and it is with great delight that local talent were employed.  Thomas Smyth from Ballymacnab was awarded the position of Quantity surveyor, Malachy Byrne of Newtownhamilton was hired as the architect and Declan Smyth was given the Mechanical engineering position.

However, in order for the community association to deliver their aim of providing this excellent and much needed facility to the entire community of Newtownhamilton and surrounding areas – we need the communities help.  The £246,000 contracted by SOAR, is grant aid, which will largely be spent on supplies and resources for the new building.  We are calling on all tradesmen, labourers, skilled workers and volunteers to give of their time and skills to help complete this new building for our community.  Work is already in motion and in recent weeks, the staircase is in place.

With the new year of 2014 around the corner- make your resolution early, and give any assistance you can to help give your community a much needed boost, one that all generations, young and old desire.

A Facebook page shall be activated soon, so you can keep up to date all the developments of the build.   So come on folks- let’s put some community spirit back into our great wee town.