The newly announced framework for Town Centre renewal will be of enormous benefit to towns and villages throughout Cork.
The framework was announced in Sligo by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor. It aims to address the need for greater collaboration and support for town centre renewal across the country, with a particular emphasis on the role that the business community can play in collaboration with Local Authorities and other key stakeholders in setting a town on a sustainable path towards vitality and vibrancy.
“The Framework sets out a practical step by step action plan for the stakeholders in the community to work collaboratively to enhance their local town or village.
“It will be a key support document for towns and villages applying for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme recently launched by my Fine Gael colleague Minister Heather Humphries.
“The Action Plan, included in the Framework for Town Centre Renewal, provides a structure for collaborative partnerships among stakeholders to achieve successful town centre renewal, whether a large town or small village. It involves three key steps:
Step 1 – Stakeholder Engagement and Health Check:
This involves understanding your town and the key stakeholders, identifying strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities.
Step 2 – Establish a Town Centre Management Partnership or “Town Team”:
This will have the support of all the stakeholders involved at step one.
Step 3 – Prepare and implement a Town Centre Plan:
The Plan should clearly express the vision for the town, the actions required, and who is responsible for what.
“The Framework sets out the key characteristics of a successful town centre, identifying existing supports and best practice examples from around the country.”
Most importantly, the Framework includes an Action Plan for Town Centre Renewal which is intended to be a blueprint for towns and villages, guiding them through the three stages of town centre renewal: stakeholder engagement, carrying out a town centre health check and preparing a Town Centre Plan.
“Over the past number of years, the Irish economy has made a strong and sustainable recovery. The unemployment rate for the fourth quarter of 2016 was 7.1%, its lowest level since 2008 and the monthly live register figures continue to fall in 2017.
“Over 200,000 more people are in employment than at the start of 2012, the year that the Action Plan for Jobs was launched by the Government.
“The Government is committed to providing supports that will assist the key stakeholders in towns and villages to make their centres vibrant and vital.