Westport has enjoyed plenty of success in the Tidy Towns Competition down the years. Three times National Winners (2001, 2006 and 2008), the picturesque Mayo town has also carried off its share of regional and large town awards.
Liam Campion, manager of Kavanagh’s SuperValu in Westport, is proud that his store has sponsored Tidy Town activities since the 1990s. An active member of the committee since 1998, Liam is in no doubt as to the secret of their success.
“The key is to get plenty local organisations and individuals in the community working together with a single purpose. Once that’s in place, it’s a matter of good old-fashioned hard work. I remember our chairperson, on the bus back from Dublin after our first win, saying that we needed to be out again the following morning to build on the good work. That’s why the committee is busy 52 weeks of the year, with Sunday morning clean-ups and Monday nights during the summer. It’s also why SuperValu staff get involved, doing one clean-up a year in their free time,” says Liam.
“A great example of community co-operation is our new skatepark. Rather than spending our award money down the years, we banked it and waited for a suitable project that would benefit everyone in the town. The skatepark made sense because it was low maintenance and would add to the social life in the area. I’m delighted the project was a real community effort. The town council gave us the land, we received a Leader grant and Westport Credit Union gave us a bridging loan. We added our own savings and now the town has a great new asset. It’s a real pleasure to see the buzz at this skatepark, with people bringing their grandkids to play and others cycling there along the Greenway. And it’s an another attraction for tourists looking for an outdoor activity with their kids. So, all in all, it’s been a great addition to life in the town.”