Ennis 2040 strategy to make Ennis one of the best places to live, work and visit
- Tánaiste Leo Varadkar TD launches new economic and spatial strategy for Munster's largest town
- 'Bold vision' for Ennis envisages population growth of 1.6% per annum and 5,000 new jobs during period to 2040
- Ennis to become 'Ireland's First Climate Adaptive Town' and 'Ireland's First 10-Minute Town'
- Nine transformational projects to deliver investment, job creation and regeneration in the Town Centre.
Clare County Council has unveiled details of a new economic and spatial strategy that will drive the economic, social and physical development of Ennis over the next 18 years, building communities and creating one of the best places in the world to live, work and visit.
The plan, entitled 'Ennis 2040 – An Economic and Spatial Strategy', is being officially launched on 22nd October 2021 by Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD.
Ennis 2040 provides a comprehensive framework for the sustainable development of the town and the region. Its growth will be based on the '10 Minute Town' concept with the Town Centre at the heart of a highly accessible and revitalised Ennis – the focus for retail, residential, commercial, educational, leisure and cultural growth.
The strategic objectives of Ennis 2040 are to:
- Position Ennis, a key regional town strategically located between two cities and proximate to Shannon International Airport and Shannon Foynes Port, as a location for investment
- Make Ennis an exemplar as 'Ireland's First Climate Adaptive Town'.
Utilising and managing its environmental resources, through nature-based solutions, Ennis is positioned to transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society
- Lead the way as 'Ireland's First 10 Minute Town' where a range of community facilities and services are accessible in short timeframes
- Promote Ennis as an accessible place of quality with a quality-of-life proposition that sets it apart from other locations
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, said: "I'm really happy to launch this exciting and ambitious plan for the future of Ennis, which sets out how the town will grow its population by 1.6% per year and create 5,000 new jobs by 2040. Ennis has huge potential, with its location, talent pool and natural beauty, all providing excellent opportunities to invest, live and visit here. I know a lot of effort has gone into involving the entire community in developing this plan. Congratulations to all in bringing together this vision."
The Ennis 2040 Economic and Spatial Strategy includes an Economic Action Plan, a Spatial Implementation Plan and a Marketing Strategy. Nine transformational projects outlined in the Spatial Implementation Plan provide the framework through which many of the Ennis 2040 strategy actions can be realised.
These projects have the potential to deliver significant investment, job creation, regeneration, improved accessibility and enhanced recreational facilities primarily focused on the Town Centre. The transformational projects include the Post Office Field, Abbey Riverside and the Wetlands Area.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr. PJ Ryan, said: "This strategy is grounded in a wide range of economic, social and environmental considerations which provide a basis for targeted investment, balanced economic growth and a sustainable pattern of development providing a choice of living."
"There is an old saying that a rising tide lifts all boats. I believe that is what is going to happen in County Clare. The Ennis 2040 strategy can deliver economic investment and benefits that will extend to all parts of the county. I think our communities will benefit, our businesses will benefit and the people who visit Clare will benefit. The prosperity of large regional towns like Ennis is critical to the health of the national economy and essential for balanced regional development. The positive effects of a vibrant county town will be felt countywide."
Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Cllr. Ann Norton, said: "Ennis 2040 capitalises on the strength of Ennis's significant architectural, cultural and historic heritage and will leverage those strengths to expand and diversify its economic offering. This sustainable approach will deliver for the town, for the inhabitants of today and for our children.
"The strengthening of our regional towns is important for economic development, which in turn will lead to the improvement of the quality of life in our rural areas and urban communities. It is important to note that this plan will deliver a town that is an economic driver for the region and will assist in the attraction of international investment. This will ensure the vitality and sustainability of the region, its cities, towns, and rural areas. One of the most important elements of the plan is the delivery of a vibrant and diverse community with the Town Centre at its heart.
"Ennis 2040 has the full support of all the Ennis Municipal District Councillors and I am confident that it will continue to do so in the future. We applaud the public-private approach to delivering this plan and look forward to Ennis being Ireland's first Climate Adaptive Town."
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said: "Ennis 2040 is a bold vision for today, 2040 and beyond. This strategy is about building communities and making Ennis one of the best places to live, work and visit.
"The Ennis 2040 strategy fully accords with the National Strategic Outcomes and Priorities of the National Development Plan in seeking to regenerate and revitalise Ennis and secure a more sustainable future through compact growth. This integration of national policies into local plans is critical for the development of the region.
"I will be excited to watch the implementation of this plan over the next 18 years and the further development of Ennis as an economic driving force for Clare, the Mid-West Region and the Atlantic Economic Corridor."
Liam Conneally, Director of Economic Development, Clare County Council, said: "Ennis 2040 is the culmination of several years' work by the elected members of the County Council and Ennis Municipal District, the Council's management team, consultants Avison Young, the Ennis Chamber of Commerce and, indeed, the whole community of the town and its environs. The development of the plan has had extensive input from across our community, businesses and local government.
"Covid-19, and the changes it has brought to the way we live and work, has made this plan even more relevant to the future of Ennis. Regional towns like Ennis with a good quality of life and transport connections will be important in maximising the opportunities highlighted in the recent National Remote Work Strategy by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the National Planning Framework and the Rural Development Policy."
The vision to make Ennis one of the best places to live, work, visit and invest is already being advanced through a strong and collective approach across stakeholders and partners in the region and the establishment of a special purpose vehicle in the form of the Ennis 2040 (Strategic Development) Designated Activity Company (DAC) in December, 2020.
The Ennis 2040 DAC is made up of both private and public sector members, with an executive team led by a newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Corrigan, working collaboratively to deliver on the objectives set out in the Ennis 2040 strategy.
Gerry Cahill, Chairperson, Ennis 2040 DAC, said: "Central to Ennis's future success will be the strength, sustainability and adaptability of its economy.
"This plan is designed to build resilience and to facilitate orderly growth and create a platform for investment-ready projects at strategic locations in the town and its environs. Its purpose is to guide the long-term development of Ennis and highlight opportunities that will deliver competitive advantages over the short, medium and long term. It has a Town Centre focus while also looking ahead to prioritise other areas which will together support compact growth, realise economic opportunities, and respond to the call for climate adaptation."
Ennis is the county town of Clare and the largest town in Munster. The strategy envisages that the population of Ennis (2016 Census: 25,276) will grow by on average 1.6% per annum to approximately 37,000 people by 2040. Furthermore, the plan will assist in the delivery of an additional 5,000 jobs to the local economy by 2040.
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