Three year Action Plan to develop the economic, social and tourism potential of Tipperary town
Tipperary County Council has responded forcefully this week to its critics in relation to Tipperary town, outlining what steps it is taking to rejuvenate the town.
The March4Tipp action group had been piling pressure on the Council, demanding change, and jobs, but has agreed to forego further protests. The group is considering fielding candidates in the local elections due this year.
On Monday, Pat Slattery, economic development chief for Tipperary Co. Council said Tipperary County Council has commenced work on a three year Action Plan to develop the economic, social and tourism potential of Tipperary town and its surrounding area.
“The Council recognises that the improvements needed must have the support of all stakeholders, and a Town Forum is in place to represent all interests in the town,” stated Mr Slattery.
A consultant is being appointed to prepare the Plan and to assist in a public consultation exercise. The intention is that the actions identified should be deliverable over a three year period.
Public consultation will be designed to seek the views of all interests in the town towards improving the liveability and commercial life of the town.
Some projects have been identified already such as: N24 relief road freeing up the town centre for enhancement; town centre revitalisation through targeted restoration and reuse of vacant units, commercial incentives, and enhancement of the streetscapes; market the Sky Park, and develop a new business park for small businesses; provide a digital hub to provide hot desks and business support; identify and develop suitable second centre business locations enhanced and vibrant Market Yard; new River Arra amenity walk; streetscape and parking improvements to enhance retail environment; promote existing vacant commercial sites; develop itineraries for tourism and business investment in the town; ‘it a long way to Tipperary’ visitor experience/heritage project; market Tipperary as part of the Limerick Region to attract commercial and residential activity.
The above is not an exhaustive list, but a sample of the type of projects and actions that may be progressed as part of a 3-year action plan for Tipperary town.
In order to ensure that the action plan is delivered, Tipperary County Council will recruit a Project Manager for a three year period. The project manager will be recruited to deliver the actions in the Plan by collaborating with all agencies, sourcing and securing necessary funding and providing timelines for delivery.
The appointed person will also provide regular progress updates to the people of the town, will report to the Forum and to seek out all opportunities that would progress the 3-rear vision for the town.
Tipperary County Council recognises that the solutions are wide-ranging and that some solutions will require the cooperation of other state agencies.
In this regard, the Town Forum will seek input into the county and regional planning initiatives such as the County Enterprise Forum, the Action Plans for Jobs in the South East and Mid west. Some projects will require the support of National agencies such as; the Department of Transport and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), on the proposed N24 Limerick to Waterford major road project/Tipperary town by-pass , and the Council has submitted planning and financial assessments of this project to the National Development Plan 2018 to 2027 and will continue to raise this matter with the responsible Department. Similarly, seeking DEIS status for our schools will require support from the relevant Government Departments.
In welcoming the initiative, Cathaoirleach of the Cashel-Tipperary District Cllr Michael Fitzgerald stated “that towns across the country are experience significant challenges, some are good and some are difficult to accept. However, it is the towns that adapt the best that will succeed.
Cllr Fitzgerald confirmed that Tipperary County Council is “committed to this process, and he is confident that working together we can address the many challenges that the town is facing, now and into the future”.
The Council recognises that the planned improvements will need to be accompanied by marketing and branding to focus on what makes the town special, and present a modern town that is united, ambitious and committed to making Tipperary a great place to live, work and visit.