• Kantoher

Members of the Newcastle West Municipal District have heard of plans by a rural development group to build grow on its recent success on creating employment for its community.

Representatives from Kantoher Development Group addressed the October meeting of the Newcastle West Municipal District held in Kantoher Enterprise Centre.

Established in 2005, Kantoher Development Group is a voluntary community organisation set up in the wake of the loss of 350 jobs when Kerry Group closed their poultry processing operations in the area.

The group’s aim is “To create an environment that promotes enterprise and sustainable employment for the whole community”.

Kantoher Business Park now employs over 80 people with six businesses based there while the group has a conveyor belt of exciting projects ready for financing including the development of a reedbed system in Camas and a new community resource centre in Ashford.

The reedbed project has secured funding of €100,000 through the Town and Villages Renewal Scheme. It was one of 13 Co Limerick projects to receive funding totalling €1.1 million.

Limerick City and County Council has contributed significantly over the subsequent years to the development of the area. Firstly, through the establishment of the West Limerick Action Group and in more recent times the building of the Kantoher Enterprise Centre.

Innovate Limerick, which is tasked with driving innovation and working with the key stakeholders to develop Limerick’s business ecosystem by providing a supportive environment that will facilitate and encourage higher levels of innovation across the various stakeholders and sectors in Limerick has been working closely with the Kantoher Development Group to further advance their plans of creating a sustainable business eco-system in this part of County Limerick.

Cllr Michael Collins, Cathaoirleach of the Newcastle West Municipal District said: “I am delighted as Chairperson to have convened and chaired our October District meeting in the Kantoher facility.”

“As a local who grew up in the locality I’m immensely proud of the work that is going on locally. There is huge credit due to the local development group and the resilience, drive and commitment shown by this group of volunteers following the closure of the plant in 2005 has to be highly commended.”

“Kantoher and the parish of Killeedy is a place where one can live, work and integrate into a vibrant community. I welcome the announcement of €100,000 for village renewal and the proposed reed bed sewerage system and I look forward to working and supporting further the redevelopment of the old Ashford Tavern building.”

“Finally I want to thank Limerick City and County Council for their ongoing support and commitment to what we are trying to achieve here locally.”

Jack O’Connor from Kantoher Development Group said: “Kantoher Development Group wants to acknowledge the huge support it has received from Limerick City and County Council and the other state agencies in helping a community pick itself off the floor after the hammer blow that was closure of Kantoher Co-op in 2005.”

“This support has allowed the community gain the confidence to rebuild again. The holding of the October meeting of Newcastle West Municipal District in a very busy Kantoher Business Park marked another milestone on this great success story.”

“It demonstrates what can be achieved with the combined positive forces of public agencies and community working hand in hand.”