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Community loan for Bonane Community Cooperative Society

It is located in one of the naturally beautiful parts of the country - close to Kenmare, County Kerry - and boasts one of the highest concentrations of archaeological sites on the island. Bonane is also home to a thriving community cooperative that first identified the potential and then had the foresight to establish a highly successful Heritage Park, in 2006. No surprise that Bonane won the Pride of Place Environment Award in 2008 and secured first place in the Irish Rural Link Awards, in 2010.

Bonane Heritage Park is community-owned and operates as a social enterprise. It showcases the area’s wealth of historical treasures, some dating from 3000 BC. These include a Ring Fort and stone features that possess unique solar and lunar alignments.

Given its centrality to community life, the Heritage Park is a veritable engine of local development. The Heritage Park sits on woodland originally leased from Coillte and it was cooperative community effort that saw the site cleared, the access roads built, the signage erected and the initial funds raised to establish the now successful attraction.

In order to secure the Heritage Park into the future and build on that initial success – it is highly rated as an attraction on tourism sites such as Tripadvisor – Clann Credo provided support to help purchase the woodland site from Coillte. Acquisition of the site was the key element in an ambitious development plan that included the creation of an interpretive feature in the Heritage Park, the opening of a shop, a café and the establishment of a community meeting space.

Location: Bonane, Co. Kerry