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Creative Industries breathe new life into disused factory

26 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has officially opened the Creative Industries Workspace Facilities at Manderwood Park in Lisnaskea, Co Fermanagh.

The "SOURCE Developing Rural Creativity" project is supported through the EU Community Initiative INTERREG IIIA Programme and it is a cross border initiative involving Leader groups in counties Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo. The project seeks to harness individual creativity, skill and talent within the three counties as well as generating growth in the creative industries sector. Manderwood Ltd was successful in securing INTERREG funding of €149,496 from the "SOURCE" project to develop workspace units specifically targeted to the creative industries sector.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister said,

"I congratulate the partners on their vision in developing the 'SOURCE' project, which brings together a diverse range of people from both sides of the border sharing a common focus on the development of the creative industries sector in counties Fermanagh, Sligo and Leitrim.

"Creative industries can make a huge contribution to the economy of disadvantaged rural areas and Manderwood Park offers businesses the opportunity to flourish and grow through developing partnerships, sharing ideas and best practice in a supportive environment.

"The development of more sustainable, diversified, enterprising rural economies and communities is at the heart of the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme. The programme will provide the opportunity for significant investment in rural areas to make them better places for everyone to live and work.

"Manderwood's success in getting this project off the ground is a great example of the opportunities that are available to the creative sector and I hope encourages many others to follow suit."

The development of the creative workspace facilities breathes new life into the local factory that over the years has provided many jobs for the Lisnaskea area. The funding enabled Manderwood Ltd to convert the disused factory space into 9 units, averaging 1,500 - 2,000 square feet that are self-contained and suitable for workshop or office space, or a combination of both.

The new facilities offer low cost workspace for those working in the creative industry, a diverse and exciting sector that includes craft, design, fashion, software and computer services, architecture, the performing arts, advertising and public relations, publishing and the media.

The overall 'SOURCE - Developing Rural Creativity' project received funding of €878,416 under the EU IntErreg IIIA Ireland / Northern Ireland Programme through DARD in NI and Border Action in Ireland.


  1. The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in the Six Counties and the Department of Finance in South. The Body was established on 2 December 1999, under the Good Friday Agreement 1998 and the British Irish Agreement, establishing implementing bodies. The Body reports to the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and is the managing authority for the implementation of the INTERREG IIIA Ireland / Northern Ireland Programme.
  2. The INTERREG IIIA programme is designed to support cross border co-operation, social cohesion and economic development between the regions of the European Union. The INTERREG IIIA Programme covers all of Northern Ireland and the six border counties of Ireland - Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo.
  3. The Rural Development Initiative, Measure 1.4, of the INTERREG IIIA Programme is managed jointly by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Department for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DCRGA). DARD and Border Action deliver the Programme at a local level. The Measure aims to promote the economic and social development of rural dwellers through integrated local area based development strategies and projects that will provide sustainable benefits on a cross-border basis.

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