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Kilrush included in Town Centre First programme

5 March 2024

Clare County Council has welcomed the inclusion of Kilrush in the Town Centre First programme, which focuses on the social and economic revival of towns across the country. 

The Government has confirmed that the West Clare town is among 26 urban centres across Ireland that will benefit from Phase 2 funding to complete a comprehensive masterplan to help develop their town centres.

Working in collaboration with the local community, Clare County Council has already produced a Town Centre First plan for Sixmilebridge, which was included in Phase 1 of the programme and was officially launched last week by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Kieran O’Donnell TD.

Councillor Ian Lynch, Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District, Clare County Council, commented, “The Department’s inclusion of Kilrush in the Town Centre First scheme represents an exciting opportunity for the local community, working in partnership with Clare County Council, to play a central role in guiding the future development of the town.”

He added, “Kilrush needs a thriving town centre, both from a commercial activity and residential context, and I look forward to working collaboratively with the community and local stakeholders to realise their vision for the town’s future development. Town Centre First also presents an opportunity to develop recreation and play spaces to benefit all ages.”

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said, “Clare County Council plays a pivotal role in working with towns to help shape their futures. I welcome the news that the town of Kilrush is to be added to the Town Centre First programme. It is an exciting time for the people of Kilrush as they embark on the journey of developing a masterplan for their town. Through our Town Regeneration Officer, Rural and Community Development Officers and technical expertise across Clare County Council, we are committed to supporting both Kilrush Town Team in developing a masterplan, and Sixmilebridge Town Team in implementing the actions identified in their plan.”

Joan Tarmey, Town Regeneration Officer for Clare County Council, joined with colleagues from across the country and local community representatives for the official launch of the Sixmilebridge Town Centre First plan and the announcement of the inclusion of Kilrush in the next phase of the programme.

“Over the past 12 months, Clare County Council has engaged with the community, businesses, and public private stakeholders in Sixmilebridge to establish a local Town Team and gather feedback from the local community to identify priorities for their town in the future,” explained Ms Tarmey.

“The plan sets a vision for the future development of Sixmilebridge, addressing key emerging issues including tackling dereliction and vacant properties, improving community facilities and public space and building on the town’s assets and positive attributes including the river and heritage,” she added.

“The Town Team, in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team in Clare County Council and other agencies, will use the plan to implement enhancements and seek funding to deliver positive change. A focus on job creation, place-making and an improved quality of life is key for the sustainable development of the town.”

The Town Centre First policy is to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit.

Chairperson of Sixmilebridge Town Team, Gwen Bowen, stated, “We have a wonderful community in Sixmilebridge, and this plan reflects our shared vision and reinforces the pride of place we have in the town. Our key focus has now turned to implementing the key actions outlined in the plan, and the Town Team looks forward to working closely with Clare County Council to secure the necessary funding.”

The Town Centre First programme is supported by Government through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Town Centre First Heritage Revival (THRIVE) Scheme and the Historic Towns Initiative.

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Page last reviewed: 05/03/24

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