As part of the national Town Centre First Policy initiative, Skibbereen in West Cork has been identified as a ‘pathfinder’ town and funding has been granted to Cork County Council for the development of a regeneration plan. The policy represents a joint strategy by the Department of Rural and Community Development, in collaboration with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; to tackle vacancy and dereliction, drive future development and breathe new life into town centres.
Welcoming the commencement of the Town Centre First approach to Skibbereen, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’ Flynn said that, “participation in this survey will help to inform and guide the development of the Skibbereen Town Regeneration Plan and the key actions and outcomes arising from it.” Cllr. O’ Flynn also remarked that “a collaborative approach to bringing about solutions to support town regeneration is key and I would encourage people to have their say when opportunities like this arise. I look forward to this initiative being expanded to other towns across the County.”
Cork County Council will be developing the regeneration plan for Skibbereen in consultation with the residents and business owners in the town as well as with the wider community who visit the town regularly. This process will be facilitated by a newly appointed Town Regeneration Officer for Cork County. The first step in the consultation is a general survey of the Skibbereen community to help identify initiatives and projects that will support the development and regeneration of the town by all stakeholders. The survey can be accessed online, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 021 4285161 to request a hard copy.
Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council noted that, “the aim of the Town Centre First Policy is to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, while also functioning as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community.”
Lucey also highlighted that while Skibbereen is the initial Town Centre First ‘pathfinder’ town for County Cork, Cork County Council is actively progressing a range of regeneration measures across towns in the County, covering areas such as sustainable travel, property activation and public realm enhancements.
The survey will remain open until Friday September 8th, 2023 and from then, a more focused consultation with key stakeholder groups in Skibbereen will mark the start of the regeneration plan development process.
Source: Cork County Council