Clare County Council has confirmed it has received approval from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for a €1.75m loan for the proposed redevelopment of the market area in Ennis. Arrangements are being made to draw down the loan from a lending institution.
The Council says the detailed design stage for the proposed project is currently being finalised. The project will go to tender during the first quarter of 2015.
Mayor of Ennis Councillor Johnny Flynn welcomed the news, describing the proposed development as “a 21st century project for a town with its origins in the 12th century”.
“I initiated a request for a feasibility study for a covered market in 2011, particularly in light of the successful Limerick milk market project. Four years on, I am delighted to see that Phase One of the project is being progressed and the Council is putting Munster’s largest town on the path to once again becoming the go to town for the people of Clare and the surrounding hinterland,” he stated.
Mayor Flynn said the rejuvenation project will result in the “long awaited and needed” regeneration of the historic market area and the upgrading of the adjoining streets.
“Ennis has always been an important market town historically. A quality market area is an integral part of any modern town and it is important that its attractiveness is enhanced for the many thousands of locals and tourists who pass through it each week. The development will be particularly beneficial to local food and craft producers such as the Ennis Farmers Market who will be provided with a quality and convenient location to promote their locally sourced and produced goods,” added the Mayor.
“This is a very important development for Ennis,” commented Gerard Dollard, Director of Services, Clare County Council.
“The market is an intrinsic part of Ennis and it falls way below modern standards expected for a public market area. The Council’s only objective is to deliver a development that is positive for the area, respects the special characteristics of the site and provides scope for an enhanced market in the town.
“The redevelopment of the market area has been the subject of many reports, concepts and assessments over the years. The Council is satisfied that the development proposal as a first phase of the market redevelopment is an appropriate, positive and necessary development to kick start an overall rejuvenation of this area,” he added.
Mr. Dollard confirmed that the Local Authority will meet with local representatives once the detailed design is completed and prior to commencement of the tender process for the works.