ADVERSITY can strengthen bonds and that has been the case at the Gort Road Business Park over the last few months.
The park was hit very hard by last November’s flooding but after the water subsided, 15 manufacturing and retail businesses began working together in an attempt to raise its profile and promote the park around the county.
Alan Considine is business development manager at Car Perfect and he said it was important for the newly formed Gort Road Business Park Group to let the public know that where they operate is more than an old-style industrial estate.
“The businesses came together, mainly to promote the area and to let people know that there are retail businesses here. The perception might be that it’s an old-style industrial park but it isn’t anymore. You have things like Sheil’s and Barney’s Kidz Club at the front. It’s a business park and it caters for the private individual, not just industry.”
He feels that the co-operation between the different businesses has the potential to benefit them all and that working in harmony is the way forward. “It’s important that people come together and support each other. Working together is better and if you do you can help each other.”
He said that last November, it had looked like the entire park could be flooded but Martin Fitzgibbon helped protect the buildings by breaching a barrier at the back of the park, giving the water an outlet. Alan also praised the response of workers in the park to the crisis.
“The employees were great. No-one was going to head off at five o’clock and just let the water flood in. Everyone at the first meeting of the group was very appreciative of their employees and they did want to thank them for the extra help. People came in on Saturday and filled sandbags. We all bought our own sandbags and sand and filled them. People weren’t looking for anything extra for it and it’s a great reflection on them.”
He feels that the park has advantages that make it attractive to the private shopper. “We have free parking here and if you went up town you could be waiting for 20 minutes before you find a place. It’s close to the bypass and it’s handy for people who’d be coming from Gort or Shannon.”
There is a wide range of businesses to attract people to what in the past has been considered an industrial area, he believes. “There’s the kids’ club, a coffee shop, a pet shop, ourselves, D2 print, a dry cleaners. There are all sorts of businesses here.”