Council Partners News

First Town Centre First Plan in Clare Launched

The first Town Centre First Plan in the county was recently launched in Sixmilebridge by Clare County Council.

Sixmilebridge was chosen as one of 26 towns across the country under the first phase of the National Town Centre First initiative that received funding to develop a Town Centre First Plan.

The Town Centre First initiative represents a new approach to the development of our towns, where the local community is central to reimagining their own town’s future. Reflecting on the challenges and opportunities the town faces, the development of a Town Centre First Plan provides a platform for the community to create an action plan that will support the development of a viable and vibrant town centre for people to live, work, visit and socialise.

Over the past 12 months, Clare County Council has engaged with the community in Sixmilebridge, working collaboratively to establish a local Town Team and gathering feedback to understand what the community wants to see for their town in the future. The Town Team is made up of representatives from all of the community, businesses, and public private stakeholders, who have played a key role in the development of the Town Centre First Plan and will support its implementation.

The plan sets a vision for the future development of Sixmilebridge, addressing key emerging issues including tackling dereliction and vacant properties, improving community facilities and public space and building on the town’s assets and positive attributes including the river and heritage. Taking account of the feedback received from the local community, the Town Centre First Plan identified opportunities for improvements by proposing strategies and projects in the short, medium and long terms. The Town Team, in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team in Clare County Council and other agencies, will use the plan to implement enhancements and seek funding to deliver positive change. A focus on job creation, place-making and an improved quality of life is key for the sustainable development of the town.

Commenting on the plan, Cllr Donna McGettigan, Cathaoirleach of Shannon Municipal District, said, “the Town Centre First approach is about bringing together local businesses, town teams and our local authority so that they are at the fore when it comes to planning for the future development of their communities. The town team in Sixmilebridge have played a key role in driving this plan and I commend their enthusiasm and commitment to get to this point. I look forward to supporting them during the next phase of implementation.”

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “the Local Authority plays a vital role in assisting towns shape their futures. Through our Town Regeneration Officer, Rural and Community Development Officers and technical expertise across Clare County Council, we are committed to supporting the Sixmilebridge Town Team in implementing the actions identified by them in this plan.”

Gwen Bowen, Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Town Team, added, “the positive engagement from all members of the public and stakeholders has really guided and informed the development of our Sixmilebridge Town Centre First Plan. We have a wonderful community in Sixmilebridge and this plan reflects our shared vision and reinforces the pride of place we have in the town. On behalf of the Town Team, I wish to thank the local community and Clare County Council for the combined effort in bringing this plan to fruition.”

Linda Earlie, Town Regeneration Officer Clare County Council, commented, “the completion of this plan is a positive milestone for Sixmilebridge town. The plan brings together key actions and opportunities for investment that will support the enhancement of the town centre as an attractive location to live, work, visit and raise a family. The engagement and input from the public throughout the process has been key to shaping the final plan, and I would like to thank all those who took the time to feedback throughout the plan’s development process. The success of this Town Centre First Plan is now founded on its implementation, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the town team to secure the necessary funding to implement the key actions set out in the plan.”

Source: Clare County Council

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