Carrigaline Needs To Build New Business Theme - Councillor
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Carrigaline needs to act quickly and develop a new theme for business, given the number of new projects coming its way. That is the opinion of Cllr Jack White (FG), who says an opportunity should not be missed for a new direction of business opportunities to emerge in response to the changing landscape of the town that is soon to materialize.
Cllr White, when approaching the matter at this week’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District (MD), suggested that with so much going on in Carrigaline in terms of new developments, changes to transport and reimagination of spaces, there is a once in a generation opportunity to create a new theme for the town.
Referencing some examples such as ‘Carrigaline, a place for retail’, or ‘Carrigaline, a food destination’, Cllr White suggested that the creation of similar themes across the county and the country have greatly benefited other towns and that now is the right time for Carrigaline to take a new direction.
“The investment that is on the way for Carrigaline will deliver an awful lot in terms of how people move and do business. I think it would be a shame to let the opportunity go to develop a theme. Business groupings in Carrigaline aren’t at their strongest at the moment and I think if we as a Municipal District can develop a theme, so that all the projects that are on the way can grow into that, it would be hugely beneficial.” On a regional level, Cllr White referenced the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’, and wondered if a local version of such a theme could be used in Carrigaline.
Cllr Michael ‘Paul’ Murtagh (FG), supported his colleague and recalled a ‘market town’ that he and other Councillors had come across while they were on an educational trip abroad, suggesting that perhaps developing a similar theme could allow local businesses from the area to come and
display their fresh produce for the considerable population that the town now bolsters.
Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF), also supported the proposal in principle, noting it was a good time to try and develop a new vision for Carrigaline. He pointed to the work that had been done by a collection of residents from the area a few years ago as part of the SECAD My Town, My Plan group, who in October 2020 presented their own approach to the future of the town, particularly relating to Active Travel and the development of an Arts, Civic and Culture centre. He added that this would be an important group to engage with if the motion from Cllr White was to progress.
In response to the request made by Cllr White, Senior Executive Officer, Nicola Radley, stated that “the MD will examine the merits of this proposal, when local project demands allow, in conjunction with local stakeholders including individual businesses and tourism businesses, community groups, who will all need to drive it with assistance from local bodies such as the MD and Leader group etc. The key may be to identify key local assets/ attractions/ unique selling points and build these into a selection process to identify the themes to be promoted”.
She also noted that the timing for such engagement with stakeholders may be slightly premature given the ongoing delivery of new developments in the town, and this was acknowledged by Cllr White. He did however add that as well as potentially engaging with the My Town My Plan group, the Council could perhaps advertise or market the campaign and get more businesses and community members involved so that there is new life and opinions brought into the conversation.