Castleblayney Community Enterprise CLG
Castleblayney Community Enterprise are a successful community group who opened the first Enterprise Centre building in the County in 1987.
The group are governed by a voluntary Board of Directors and have as their primary aim to actively engage in community development activities whereby the economic, social, cultural and educational well-being of the Community is enhanced.
Castleblayney Community Enterprise is a Community group in Castleblayney County Monaghan which was formed in 1987. The group are governed by a voluntary Board of Directors and the day to day management of their activities is carried out by a full time Manager with assistance of staff all funded through the Community Service Programme which is administered by Pobal through the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The group play a pivotal role in a cross spectrum of activities within the local Community which include the ownership and management of their Community owned Enterprise Centre building which was a former boys National School renovated in 1987 and which underwent extensions in 2000 and 2003. The Enterprise Centre provides workspaces and offices for new and expanding enterprises and businesses start-ups. Other services in the Centre which form part of the groups own income generating activities include the hire of the computer suite and meeting rooms, a costume and fancy dress hire business and a secretarial service.
In addition to this the Centre also provides training for local SME’s, private individuals and those distant from the labour market. Further educational training is also provided to young people through various art related workshops and environmental and cultural diversity Programmes. The group also stage of the towns annual Muckno Mania summer festival each July.
Castleblayney Community Enterprise Ltd has expanded over the years firstly, taking over the day to day management of the former Scouts Hall building which became vacant. The hall is now used as a community facility and is extensively used by a variety of local voluntary and community groups.
The group also engage with other organisations and bodies at a local, regional and national level to deliver other programmes and activities which complement their aims and objectives.
Following the demise of Scouting in the town in 2000 there was concern that the Scout Hall building on York Street, would drift in to a state of disrepair and be added to the growing list of derelict buildings. The then Trustees of the Scout Hall building sought a meeting with the Board of Castleblayney Community Enterprise in an attempt to address the matter. Castleblayney Community Enterprise agreed to take over the day to day management of the building and to extend the use of the building to other groups and organisations in the town who provide important and invaluable activities within the Community.
Despite the need to carry out some major remedial and costly floor works in 2010 Castleblayney Enterprise Centre have dutifully continued to be the custodians of the hall for the past 19 years and ensured that it has remained an important resource to a myriad of groups who use it. It is presently used seven days of the week by the following groups and individuals Irish Dancing, Speech & Drama, Tae Kwon Do, Jazzercise and the Whist Club, who by their activities improve the quality of life in our Community. The Hall is also used as a polling station on election days and is a central venue for coffee morning fundraisers.
PEACE & Chimes
For over ten years now Castleblayney Community Enterprise has successfully attracted funding from the European Union’s Peace and Reconciliation Programme. The group have a strong track record in co-ordinating and staging activities, which address reconciliation, cultural diversity and equality, which involves effective community involvement. Over recent years invaluable work has been undertaken with primary and secondary schools in the community and in addition Castleblayney Community Enterprise have formed a group known as the Blayney Cultural Network group who comprise members of various ethnic minorities.
Over the years the project has promoted the involvement of students and adults in trips to Belfast, Derry, Omagh and Dublin, the staging of Cultural Fairs, celebration events and cross border projects, as well as floral planting, the creation of wall murals and workshops in various art forms and traditional skills.
Promoting Business and Community Life
Throughout the past 35 years the Board of Castleblayney Community Enterprise has proactively sought to promote a sense of pride and foster an appreciation of what’s good in our Community.
The Board have created events and opportunities where all strands of the Community can come together to highlight their existence or showcase their business. The first of these was known as ‘Blayney World’. It was held in 1993 in the gymnasium of Our Lady’s Secondary School. ‘Blayney World’ ‘99 was staged in the old IAWS premises on Monaghan Road, which had just been acquired by Board member Padraig Watters. The Glencarn Hotel provided the venue for our next one in 2006. In 2015 the name changed to ‘We Mean Business’ but this time the location moved to Drumillard Business Park and the premises which was owned by Francie Mc Guigan.
The concept of helping to promote an upbeat message was also envisaged by the Board of Castleblayney Community Enterprise when they introduced a number of Business and Community Networking event in 2007, 2009 and 2011. These nights were held in the Glencarn Hotel and were well attended. After dinner speakers included Ivan Yates and Irish Apprentice finalist Kristina Grimes, GAA General Secretary, Padraig Duffy, as well as Inniskeen man Oliver Callan of Nob Nation fame.
These nights also provided an opportunity for local business people and civic leaders in the community to come together in a social setting. Local speakers were also added to the programme to tell their story, these included; Pete McMahon, Declan Connolly and Annmarie McHugh.
Aptly the 2009 event which came in the midst of the economic downturn offered a welcome relief from the doom and gloom.
Art and Murals
Over the years Castleblayney Community Enterprise has proactively promoted and assisted in the creation of a variety of colourful wall murals and the installation of a number of stunning art pieces. Many of the murals were supported under various Peace related projects which involved working with young people and which helped to foster close links with all the primary and post primary schools in the Community. The murals depict activities of local heritage as well as bringing walls to life.
Furthermore they were a way of getting young people to express themselves and to learn about themselves and others in the planning and creation of the murals.
Castleblayney Community Enterprise has also embraced the concept of outdoor art sculptures and have engaged professional artists to create a number of important works around the town. The first introduction began in 2001 when they received a once off grant allocation from the National Committee on Volunteering to engage Smithborough Sculptor Alison Bole to work with them and a number of other voluntary groups namely Blayney Blades, Monaghan Macra na Feirme, Monaghan Youth Federation and Monaghan Community Games.
The resulting sculpture made from Kilkenny Limestone is located on the grounds of the Enterprise Centre.
In 2015 the group made a successful application to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and were one of few Southern based communities to receive funding under a programme titled, “Building Peace Through the Arts”. The project provided funding to engage a facilitator who worked with local people and school children through a series of workshops in designing an art piece, which depicted their expressions of community celebration and the recognition of talent, achievement and community spirit in Castleblayney.
It was through the ideas generated from the workshops that the chosen artists arrived at the Nest, which is a high quality art piece, comprising of stainless steel interwoven with fused glass.