The government’s newly announced framework for Town Centre Renewal can be of huge benefit to Ardee according to Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd and Ardee Municipal District cathaoirleach Dolores Minogue.
The Fine Gael duo are in the process of arranging a meeting with the Ardee Traders & Business Association to discuss the new framework and how it can help Ardee and the town centre be rejuvenated.
According to Deputy O’Dowd, the new government framework aims to address the need for greater collaboration and support for town centre renewal across the country, with a particular emphasis on the role played by the business community working with local authorities to help set the town on a sustainable path towards vitality and vibrancy.
“I have spoken with my colleague Cllr Dolores Minogue, and we hope to arrange a meeting for local traders in the business community over the coming weeks to discuss the framework in more detail and to start the process of preparing the groundwork,” O’Dowd said today.
One of the key aspects of this framework aims at developing an approach to halt the number of town centre commercial premises lying empty, as detailed by ThisIsArdee.ie last week.
“Cllr Minogue shares my deep concern on the number of vacant premises in the Ardee Town centre and this framework will give the local business people and stakeholders the chance to put their views forward on the best approach going forward.”
Minogue echoed O’Dowd’s sentiments and says she wants to work towards putting in place an action plan that can help tackle the declining levels of occupancy rates in the town – as well as other problems that arise within the town itself.
“Ardee Town has suffered over the last decade and I hope this framework will give us all the opportunity to put an action plan in place to rejuvenate and promote the likes of Ardee Town to the level at which we know it can reach,” she said.
“We need to address the likes of the occupancy levels, rates and many other vital issues that have adversely affected the areas in the last decade.”
O’Dowd also said that the framework will be a key support for community groups seeking funding in the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, details of which have recently been released.
“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,” the Drogheda based deputy said.
The process involves three three key steps – Stakeholder Engagement and Health Check, Establish a Town Centre Management Partnership or “Town Team” and Prepare and implement a Town Centre Plan.