Ardee is among the towns shortlisted to win a Bank of Ireland Enterprising Town Award in 2017 – and on Thursday, various stakeholders from around the town will escort judges around Ardee as they stop off for a visit.
It was revealed last week that Ardee was among the shortlisted towns for the prestigious annual awards. Judges are visiting towns across the country throughout the month of September before the winner is announced at a awards ceremony to be held in November. The national competition celebrates the work of local communities in supporting each other and creating a culture of entrepreneurship and job creation.
Speaking upon the announcement of Ardee as one of Louth’s entries for the Bank of Ireland Enterprising Town Awards (Drogheda and Carlingford are the others), Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council and Ardee Municipal District councillor Colm Markey said, “Ardee is aiming high as we bid for the title of Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town.
He believes Ardee is a perfect microcosm of Irish life. “We have a vibrant and dynamic community, family business dating back generations and innovative enterprises all sitting side by side. Here in Ardee we’ve always supported each other, shopped local and worked together to drive job creation and growth,” he said. “We’re looking forward to telling the adjudicators our story and helping them to understand the strength of our community.”
The adjudicators will visit Ardee this Thursday afternoon (September 21st) where they will be shown examples of how the community works together and how a culture of enterprise is being cultivated in the town.
The visit will begin at Ardee Business Park where judges will hear about how the community work together to drive growth and change, meeting with workers, business owners and innovators based at the Hale Street facility.
Later, Ardee Traders & Business Association chairperson Hughie O’Neill will lead adjudicators on a tour of the town itself, giving them the chance to meet with retailers and family business owners. They will also visit the Dee Hub where the aim is to showcase the dynamic nature of the local community and how working together makes everyone stronger.
Louth’s Head of Enterprise Thomas McEvoy believes this is a great opportunity for the town. “This really is a chance for us to showcase what a dynamic and innovative community Ardee is and celebrate local achievements. We’re aiming high for Ardee and striving for success.”
Back in May, Ardee held it’s second Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town event in the former church on John Street. Over 70 exhibitors took part, with ex-rugby player Brent Pope and Louth All-Ireland winner Aidan Magennis among the guests. It was the second such event to be held in Ardee, with Bank Of Ireland holding it’s first Enterprise Town event in 2015.
The Awards have been devised after a pilot run in 2016. They aim to assist in the promotion of enterprise across the country by bringing business and community groups together to showcase to a panel of judges, the spirit of enterprise in their local area. With over 30 monetary awards in total plus trophies (the total prize fund €110,000), the overall winning town or city village/area will be awarded €23,000 plus a trophy.