Ennis town centre to get a health check

Ennis town centre to get a health check


O'Connell St. Pic: Martin Molloy
O’Connell St. Pic: Martin Molloy

Ennis has been selected to participate in a pilot project focusing on the future management and revitalisation of historic town centres throughout Ireland.

Clare’s County town will take part in the National Town Centre Health Check (TCHC) programme, which is operated by The Heritage Council, RGDATA and the Retail Consortium, in collaboration with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Irish Planning Institute.

Ennis Chamber and Clare County Council will administer the project locally as part of ongoing collaborative efforts to promote the development of the town, including the development of a vibrant and competitive retail sector. The programme has been designed locally by Clare County Council’s Planning Department, Ennis Chamber and local community groups.

Acting on behalf of Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber, volunteers from the Clare Volunteer Centre will conduct shopper surveys throughout Ennis this Friday and Saturday (25-26 November), while local retailers and shops throughout the town centre will also be surveyed. In addition vacancy levels, car-parking provision and pedestrian accessibility will also be audited.

Mayor of Ennis Councillor Ann Norton says she hopes Ennis’ participation in the programme will “reap positive rewards for the people of Ennis and the town itself and will ultimately lead to the formulation of an agreed Town Centre Management Strategy.”

“Ennis, like numerous other town centres throughout the country, has a rich critical mass of heritage assets with hundreds of years of living history in our buildings and streets. I am delighted to see Clare County Council, Ennis Chamber and the local community working together on this exciting pilot training and capacity-building programme, which aims to enhance overall vitality and viability and ensure that our historic town survives and thrive for future generations” Ms Norton said.

Brian McCarthy (Senior Planner, Economic Development, Clare County Council) and Jean McCabe (President, Ennis Chamber) have also welcomed Ennis’ inclusion in the TCHC programme. They noted that a key aim of the Town Centre health check is to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of the critical role that our town centres play and the wide-ranging impacts that their vitality, vibrancy and viability have on overall socio-economic, environmental and cultural growth and development, and on quality of life for citizens and visitors.

Shopper surveys will take place throughout Ennis this coming Friday and Saturday.