A funding package totalling € 240,000 over a three-year period towards the appointment of a Social Inclusion Coordinator for Tipperary Town has been confirmed by Tipperary Town Revitalisation Task Force (TTR TF). The funding will be provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), Tipperary County Council (TCC) and South Tipperary Development Company (STDC), with the appointment seen as an important first step in driving the Task Forces Social Inclusion Programme forward. The implementation of a comprehensive Social Inclusion Programme for the town is highlighted as a priority action in the upcoming TTR TF Strategy and Action Plan, as it aims to work with existing service providers to enhance resources and tackle the high rates of deprivation and disadvantage that have long effected the town.

Carmel Fox, Chairperson of the TTR TF welcomed the news, highlighting the tremendous collaboration that has taken place among the various stakeholders to get to this point, “Throughout our early research and consultations the issue of social exclusion and deprivation came through in virtually every discussion, and it was clear that the challenge in this area was enormous. All the various agencies and stakeholders have come together to help develop a response through a targeted Social Inclusion Plan, and it is wonderful to see that effort begin to pay off. Having a dedicated coordinator on board to work with the existing providers and leverage more resources is a huge step forward in addressing this challenge. I want to thank the funders for showing belief in our plan and in what we are trying to achieve”.

Pat Slattery, Director of Services for Community and Economic Development with Tipperary County Council stated that “There are parts of the town where education attainment remains low, and unemployment remains high. While plans are underway to provide new employment in the town and better access to education and training, the process must also give a voice to disadvantaged groups, and this programme will seek to address disadvantage in specific pockets of the town and bring back community spirit”.

Isabel Cambie, CEO of STDC stated “South Tipperary Development CLG is delighted to be associated with this initiative. It is important development to the People of Tipperary Town and to the work of the TTR TF. We look forward to working with the coordinator to enhance and add value to the Social Inclusion programmes currently being delivered in the Town.”

Recruitment is expected to commence in the coming weeks with the coordinator hoped to be appointed in April 2022 for a three-year period.