Suncroft is geographically located three miles south of the Curragh, a further two miles below Newbridge, East of Kildare town, West of Kilcullen and North of Athy. It has been estimated that 750 households are located in the environs of the village of Suncroft, while the full parish of Greater Suncroft encompasses 1,250 houses.
In 1975 Fr Tom O’Donnell PP of Suncroft donated 9 acres to the community of Suncroft in the form of a Deed of Trust. A community hall was built with the assistance of ANCO and opened in 1981. The building however was flawed in aspects of its structure and by 2004 the building had become unsound and therefore unsafe and unfit for purpose (it subsequently collapsed following a fire in November 2006). Since then the community has had no facilities for sporting or other community activities leaving a large void within the locality.
In 2010 several leading figures in the community meet to discuss the lack of community activities and facilities and called a public meeting to access local support. This meeting was a resounding success and a clear consensus emerged within the community to support the building of a new Community Centre in the village. From this meeting was born the Suncroft Community Development Group which over the course of a number of subsequent public meetings was given a clear mandate by the community.
· Suncroft Community Development Group Limited is an inclusive, non for profit organisation set up to provide support and assist community activities and groups to develop and grow for the benefit of the community of Suncroft.
· SCDG is committed to raise funding to build a fit for purpose Community Centre to meet the needs and requirements for the community within the greater area of Suncroft.
A series of public meetings followed resulting in the setup of a Non for Profit Company in April 2011 to manage the project and fund raising. A management team of professionals and volunteers was recruited from local residents.
SCDG contacted the County Kildare Leader Partnership in October 2011 in order to commence an application for grant funding towards the building of a new Community Centre. Following this consultation and ongoing mentoring from the Leader team SCDG undertook a course of action that has resulted in the submission of this business plan and accompanying application.
SCDG entered into a Care Takers Agreement with K & L Diocesan Trust to use the vacant Parochial House in the village as an interim community centre. The house and its grounds have been reinstated and community centre activities and events now have a temporary home.
The SCGD recruited a professional resource to conduct a needs assessment survey for the community. The results of this survey have provided a clear brief and mandate to SCDG on what should be provided and prioritisation in relation to available budget. It also provided a guideline framework for the scoping of the tender requirements for the engineering partners on the building project.
SCDG has put in place clear and strong Governance structures to ensure that the project is properly managed and that the long term viability and future development of the Community Centre is assured. These include setting up a limited company, audits, charitable tax status, constitution and recruitment of a professional team to deliver the project and manage the facility when built.
Following extensive open community consultations, meetings with sporting and social groups and negotiations with the Trustees of the Committee Field a consensus was formed that SCD Ltd should be supported as the appropriate vehicle to raise funding to build a new Community Centre on the site of the community field. It was also agreed that SCD Ltd should become the management entity for the Community Centre on an ongoing basis. A long term lease of nine acres has been granted to SCD Ltd by the Trustees of the Suncroft Community field.
A comprehensive marketing strategy has been undertaken and presented, along with financing and fund raising plans. The Community Centre will be run as a going concern in order to maintain itself and undertake further future developments.
SCD Ltd has managed to bring a diverse group of individuals and groups together to form an inclusive support base behind the building of a new Community Centre. The development of the Community Centre will provide a heart to a very large geographic community that currently does not exist. It will provide badly needed facilities for our sporting organisations and community groups. More importantly it will provide facilities and resources to marginalised groups in the community such as the young, elderly and families. It will also provide a home for organisations that currently do not exist in the area and address the need for residents to leave the locality to participate in activities that could easily be provided in a local Community Centre.