Kilbride Parish Council
Name / Title
Kilbride Parish Council
Case Study Region
BMW, West of Ireland – Roscommon
Voluntary group; Social enterprise
Main activity / focus
Undertaking initiatives to enhance the community life of the locality through development of social, educational and recreational services and facilities.
Target beneficiaries / market
The local population/local community
Current Funding source(s)
(since it’s establishment): Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Roscommon County Council, Department of the Environment and Local Government, Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Department of LEADER, Social Economy Programme; Community Services Programme (via Pobal/ Department of Social Protection).
Members of the local population.
The group is entirely voluntary and comprises of individuals who live and work in the area. Although in existence for many years, it began its development activities in earnest in the early 1990s. The Parish Council acts as an umbrella group for a wide range of subcommittees tasked with undertaking different development initiatives. Among its development achievements is the building of a community centre which accommodates classes, plays, concerts, active age events, youth activities. In 2001 it raised funds to build a gymnasium and leisure centre. This was followed by a childcare centre, and a voluntary social housing project.
They key to the group’s success is a combination of factors. It has always identified local needs first, and sought funding second, i.e. it is not incentivised by the availability of grant aid, although this is seen as a considerable benefit where it is available. It is very well connected to networks of information. These are both formal and informal. Formal networks would involve membership of other organisations. Informal networks are developed through contacts with individuals, promoted by the vast array of local activities and contacts with individuals within and outside the parish. The group maintains excellent contacts with public agencies. The members are of the view that local development groups must be proactive in seeking up to date information and remaining knowledgeable about funding opportunities if they are going to be of benefit to their development aims. They also contend that there is a learning process that must be embraced if groups are to be successful.
Strong leadership is also considered essential to help identify local needs, to set development aims and to follow them through. A strong sense of connection to place, in this case the local parish, is felt to underpin the success of Kilbride Parish Council.