Edenderry to benefit from €500,000 cultural project thanks to Arts Council funding

Creative Lives will work in partnership with Offaly County Council and others on an ambitious three-year project to galvanise the creative and cultural scene in Edenderry thanks to today’s announcement of a Creative Places award from The Arts Council.

Edenderry is Offaly’s second largest town with a population that doubled between 1996 - 2016. The population is younger than the national average and significantly more diverse, while many residents normally commute to the Dublin area for work. This project aims to build a greater sense of community and belonging, enabling social inclusion and cohesion through shared cultural activities.

In addition to Creative Lives and Offaly County Council Arts Office, the project steering group brings together Edenderry Municipal District, Creative Edenderry, North Offaly Community Development Network, Edenderry Community Cabin and Offaly County Library Service. The ambition of the partners is to facilitate the emergence of a strong cultural identity for the area and support sustainable networks and opportunities for cultural engagement and participation. It will aim to achieve this through open, collaborative methods engaging with the community at grassroots level.

The work builds on recent initiatives delivered in partnership by Creative Lives and Offaly County Council Arts Office, which resulted in the creation of the Creative Edenderry community group and the ‘Shoes of Edenderry’ project this past year. The local community is enthusiastic about developing a cultural and creative environment, and this award will help to provide the support, skills and opportunities needed to deliver these and build a brighter future for the people of Edenderry.


“We are delighted to be significantly investing in these places in this focused manner. It is very important to us that public investment in the arts reaches and benefits more people in a sustained and meaningful way. We look forward to seeing the ambitious new projects that these inspiring communities create together and we are excited by the prospect of supporting them to celebrate and animate new places.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council

 “The expansion of The Arts Council’s Creative Places programme is an incredibly exciting moment for communities across the country. The ambitious project we will be delivering in and around Edenderry with our partners will put people, place and participation at the centre of cultural life. Our organisation has spent 30 years supporting and encouraging people to be creative in their everyday lives and this project presents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the many benefits of this to individuals and communities. Over the next three years we aim to galvanise the incredible creativity that exists among local people of all ages and backgrounds and build sustainable support for ongoing engagement in the area.”

Damien McGlynn, Ireland Director, Creative Lives

 “This exciting project comes at a crucial time in the planned development of Edenderry, aligning to the opportunities and aspirations expressed in the recently published Blundell Report and will link with the ambitious plans currently underway in anticipation of the development of much needed new library and art space in the centre of the town. The project will have a huge impact for the people of Edenderry over a number of years, and will enable community cohesion and social identity and pride for the people and place of Edenderry.”

Anna-Marie Delaney, Chief Executive, Offaly County Council

 “The Creative Places award has the potential to be transformational for our community here in Edenderry. We have seen through the conversations that led to the formation of the Creative Edenderry community group that there is great enthusiasm, talent and passion among our local people and this project will help to bring that to greater recognition. We are hugely excited to build on the success of our recent Shoes of Edenderry project and publication with new opportunities for artists and local people.”

Veronica Nicholson, Chair, Creative Edenderry community group

 “Offaly County Council is delighted to receive the news that Edenderry has been awarded the Arts Council Creative Places award. The project will see substantial opportunities and investment potentials in providing inclusive and diverse arts engagement for the communities of Edenderry and the surrounding towns and villages, building on a range of projects and programmes being delivered throughout the County in collaboration with local community and artistic groups.” 

Cllr. Declan Harvey, Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council

 “As Cathaoirleach of Edenderry Municipal District, I am delighted to receive the news of the successful application for Edenderry Creative Places Award. The Members of Edenderry Municipal District, who have approved match funding for this project, are looking forward to its commencement and are encouraging all communities to get involved. The project will be delivered in partnership between Creative Lives, Offaly County Council, Edenderry Municipal District Council and local community groups in the town and will form a very important part of the community and cultural development within the District for the next three years.”

Cllr. Liam Quinn, Cathaoirleach of Edenderry Municipal District Council


The Arts Council is the national agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland. The Council recognises that the arts have a central and distinctive contribution to make to our evolving society. Established in 1951, to stimulate public interest in and promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts, the Council is an autonomous body, which is under the aegis of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. 

Creative Places is an opportunity for places which had not benefitted from sustained arts investment in the past to build local arts programmes which will benefit the people who live in these places. Each programme will have a coordinator or researcher who will begin local conversations to discuss and plan a range of brilliant creative and participatory projects for local people to take part in and enjoy.

The programme builds upon existing local cultural strengths and is based on dialogue, listening to what matters locally and reaching people who may have barriers in participating in an active cultural life. The scheme is rooted in the policies set out in the Arts Council’s ten-year strategy Making Great Art Work (2016–25).

See the details of the funding in the announcement on The Arts Council's website.