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O'Connell Street during the Fleadh Photograph by John Kelly.

Ennis in ‘future management’ project

Ennis is to participate in a pilot project focusing on the future management and revitalisation of historic town centres throughout Ireland.

The County Clare capital is taking part in the National Town Centre Health Check (TCHC) programme, which is operated by The Heritage Council, RGDATA and the Retail Consortium, in collaboration with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Irish Planning Institute.

The project will be administered locally by Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber as part of ongoing collaborative efforts to promote the development of the town, including the development of a vibrant and competitive retail sector. The programme has been designed locally by Clare County Council’s Planning Department, Ennis Chamber and local community groups.

Acting on behalf of Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber, volunteers from the Clare Volunteer Centre will conduct shopper surveys throughout Ennis this Friday and Saturday, while local retailers and shops throughout the town centre will also be surveyed. In addition vacancy levels, car-parking provision and pedestrian accessibility will also be audited.

Mayor of Ennis Councillor Ann Norton says she hopes Ennis’ participation in the programme will “reap positive rewards for the people of Ennis and the town itself and will ultimately lead to the formulation of an agreed Town Centre Management Strategy.”

“Ennis, like numerous other town centres throughout the country, has a rich critical mass of heritage assets with hundreds of years of living history in our buildings and streets,” added Mayor Norton.

Brian McCarthy, senior planner, economic development, Clare County Council and Jean McCabe, president, Ennis Chamber, noted that a key aim of the Town Centre health check is to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of the critical role that our town centres play and the wide-ranging impacts that their vitality, vibrancy and viability have on overall socio-economic, environmental and cultural growth and development, and on quality of life for citizens and visitors.

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