About KDA

KDA-Slider-3Kilkeel Development Association (KDA), was established in 1991 with the main aim of addressing the physical, social and economic decline of Kilkeel, brought about primarily by the decline in the town’s core industries of fishing, farming and construction. It brings together a range of skills and expertise across its 10 members, who are drawn from all sections of the community and who have worked tirelessly over the past twenty one years to identify and implement key projects which seek to regenerate our area, create employment and add value to the local economy.

To date KDA has facilitated the investment of over £10 million into the town for a wide range of integrated projects which have created employment, provided major community facilities and services, facilitated tourism development, enhanced community relations and the local environment. The KDA was formed as a sister organisation to the Kilkeel Chamber of Commerce.

Even in 2013, we are now suffering the worst economic downturn in living memory and therefore KDA is needed even more now than when it was first established. Kilkeel is suffering from high levels of unemployment, and mass youth emigration. There are high levels of deprivation, especially in rural areas and certain wards within the area. There is generally low level of educational attainment, however those who do progress to third level education, rarely return to the area. The downturn in the construction sector from 2007 has been felt especially hard in the area, as it was a hub for building skills. Kilkeel has still a high level of offshore skills through the traditional fishing sector and therefore the opportunities will stem from additional training and retraining those who have a high skill level in order to take advantage of new emerging sectors such as the offshore energy sector.

Kilkeel Charitable Trust has been formed as the charitable umbrella organisation for Kilkeel Development Association; so that the work and buildings of KDA remain in charitable perpetuation for the local community of the wider Kilkeel area. Kilkeel Charitable Trust will also aim to develop a range of projects aimed at enhancing and enriching the social environment for Kilkeel’s resident’s.