Community centre to open in Bridgetown
Social groups in Bridgetown are coming together to provide services from a community centre with the help of Wexford Borough District Council.
Chief Officer Ger Mackey told a Council meeting that the Community Department is working with groups in Bridgetown to provide premises for the delivery of social inclusion supports in the village.
Mr. Mackey said there has been a population increase in the Bridgetown area of more than 100% in recent years.
'This increase in population and lack of facilities is contributing to social inclusion issues,' he said, adding that the Council is looking for a property from which to provide services to the community.
'It is proposed to bring all community groups together under the framework of a Community Hub which will allow groups in the village to work together for the benefit of all the community.'
Mayor of Wexford Frank Staples said he is aware of the work being done by the Council in Bridgetown while Cllr. Jim Moore strongly welcomed the initiative saying that over €300,000 in private and public money had been spent in addressing issues within the locality since 2011.
'I'm delighted that the local authority is taking a lead through the other agencies,' said Cllr. Moore.
Sinn Fein councillor Mick Roche who lives in Bridgetown and has worked with Council staff and community groups to get the project started, said the village and surrounding area has been crying out for a development like this for years.
'Many people think we are a small village but we are one of the larger urban areas in south Wexford now with over 2,000 people in the catchment area spreading across the parish of Kilmore into Ballymore, Rathangan and Bannow.'
'Bridgetown once had a somewhat negative image but that has been overcome by the hard work and commitment of the local community. In the past two years, we've had success in the Tidy Towns competition, seen the establishment of a local boxing club, a mens' shed and womens' shed and the opening of nine new businesses within the village. The Community Hub is yet another big positive step for Bridgetown and proof that it is the up and coming community of Wexford,' said Cllr. Roche.
Cllr. Lisa McDonald said the energy for the project had sprung from the community while Cllr. Deirdre Wadding called it a 'great initiative' Cllr. Ger Carthy said it was 'a great day for Bridgetown and a great day for the Council'. Cllr. Tony Demspey welcomed the hub, saying: 'we made a mistake in the past of developing an economy without developing a community.'
Cllr. George Lawlor described it as an example of Wexford County Council reaching out to communities. 'What's happening in Bridgetown is the direction in which we should be going. We are learning a lesson.'