Why we need your support more than ever…
This time last year we were looking forward to welcoming the first of our school groups for the 2020 season, instead we had to close our doors, uncertain of what lie ahead. On March 14th 2020, we didn’t think we would be still closed one year later, having only been able to open for 2 months of the year. That reality meant a 40% loss in income for the year.
Loss has been the overriding word of the year, loss of income, loss of jobs, loss of connection and most significantly loss of loved ones to this awful pandemic.
Some chinks of light have been a reconnection with nature and the simple joys of life, that’s why recreational resources like ours are so important and why we need your support now more than ever…Why?
- Castlecomer Discovery Park is a not for profit social enterprise, it is a community project. All income generated goes directly to keeping the park open and developing it. This includes the car park income – all of which goes directly into running the park, covering the costs of staff and maintenance.
- Our model is a community based one, costs such as insurance, maintenance, litter, staff, utilities etc. are not underwritten by County Council, Coillte or OPW. Our voluntary community group must raise all of its own funds to cover these costs.
- Despite having no income since last summer due to lockdown we still have to pay our overheads, for instance we have to pay in excess of €1,000 per week to have adequate insurance in place to be able to remain open. That’s before we turn on a light or empty a bin!
- Late 2020, we made the decision to charge €2 for the first hour of car parking, this was to help us survive this difficult time, it in no way covers the costs but as they say every little helps. That €2 goes towards that insurance cost of €1,000 per week, four full time staff (this goes up to 65 in high season), 2 directly working on maintenance of the 80 acres, bin charges approx. €80 per week, utilities and consumables added to that.
The Castlecomer community should be so proud of what it has achieved, a nationally significant tourism product grew from a small kernel of an idea to celebrate the mining heritage of the town. In 2019 we attracted 144,000 visitors, created 27 full time equivalent roles, generated €800,000 of wages into the local economy. We are part of a very strong enterprise sector, which in Ireland offers approximately 25,000 to 35,000 jobs, generating up to €1.4bn in economic activity and addressing many challenges faced by Irish society.
“The Discovery Park is a circular social economy project, it’s focus is on social impact, innovation and profit reinvestment, it puts local communities at the centre of the business model.” Kathy Purcell
We appreciate your support, as our logo says Castlecomer Discovery Park, Yours to Enjoy.