A BEACH shelter that was saved from the wrecking ball by a grassroots campaign in Balbriggan is to have a new life as the base for the local Tidy Towns committee.
The Fingal Independent is championing the project as part of the a nationwide ‘Get Involved’ initiative by regional papers to get behind community projects that will have provide a proven and sustainable benefit for the local area.
This humble beach shelter was one of a pair that inspired a huge local campaign earlier this year when their demolition was threatened by Fingal County Council.
But thanks to loud protests from the local community, the council changed its mind and has now handed over control of one of the shelters, free of charge, to the Tidy Towns committee who have been in search of a permanent home to store their equipment and provide a base location for the group.
The committee has been itching to get its hands on the facility for several weeks now but had to put the necessary insurance in place before they could move in.
All that red tape was finally sorted out last week, thanks to the group’s chairman and treasurer and now the good people at Balbriggan Tidy Towns have begun to breathe new life into the neglected building.
‘We have actually got the keys of the shelter now which is great and we were down there last week putting a new lock on the door and we started to paint the windows and shutters and green which had been destroyed with graffiti,’ Zoe Nelson, a spokesperson for Balbriggan Tidy Towns told the Fingal Independent.
Once that is done, the outside of the building will be treated to a new paint job and the committee can complete the process of moving in all their Tidy Towns equipment into their new base.
As well as providing secure storage for equipment, the beach shelter will become a very visible presence for the Tidy Towns team on Balbriggan beach and will provide the location where all their activities can be planned and start from.
Zoe said: ‘If we are having a beach clean-up or something like that that or a clean-up in the town, this will now be the place for all our volunteers to meet.
‘We are hoping to use it as a base for education programmes too and maybe have little talks there on the environment for children on a Saturday morning.’
The Tidy Towns committee member said that the new shelter will provide a ‘very useful space’ for the group and its location ‘right in the public domain’ would help raise awareness of the local Tidy Towns effort.
It is hoped that the establishment of a permanent base for the group, something it has lacked up to now, will also aid its performance in this year’s Tidy Towns competition with the judges coming to town this month to evaluate the group’s efforts.
The Fingal Independent will be following the restoration of the beach hut and following how Balbriggan Tidy Towns put the building to good use over the summer.