Pride of Place judges were in Mountrath's BloomHQ in recent days to see for themselves the project which it is hoped will see local people being able to work nearer home.
The project is flying the flag for Laois in the 2019 Awards thanks to a nomination by Laois County Council. It is entered in the Creative Place Initiative category of this year's competition.
“Bloom HQ is not just a re-created space, it’s a catalyst for a community affected by a national route bypass to create, innovate and generate a productive future for themselves and future generations,” said the council.
The local authority says a cohesive community effort has transformed an 1809 dis-used convent.
“Imaginative planning created work, training, wellness and community facilities on site and the symbiotic relationship between them breeds long term sustainability.
“Local businesses based elsewhere have returned, grassroots innovative campaigns can incubate, transition year students have unequalled access to successful entrepreneurs, essential for inspiring future development,” said the council.
Backed by the Mountrath Community Forum Bloom HQ is located at the former Brigidine Convent in Mountrath. With the support of the Siol Foundation and Laois County Council, the Forum has driven its transformation into a modern space.
The aim is that it will act as a magnet for significant employment by facilitating people working locally, as opposed to commuting to urban centres.
The project was officially launched in June 2019.