To bring more promotional benefits to the area the Mid-West region needs to be renamed the Shannon region, one councillor has stated.
A review of geocode standards was sought by Cllr John Crowe (FG) so that a renaming of the Mid-West be put in place. “Given that we have Shannon International Airport, an abundance of Tourism Destinations and a first class Third Level Educational Sector, the rebranding to the Shannon Region would bring significant promotional benefits for the Airport, Tourism and Inward Investment,” he outlined.
In response to his motion to the December meeting of the County Council, Director of Service Liam Conneally highlighted that such a proposal cannot come into effect until after 2021. Regulated by the European Union, the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) is a geocode standard for referencing the subdivisions of countries for statistical purposes and was adopted in 2003. The NUTS are central delivery mechanisms for EU Cohesion Policy and structural funding.
Conneally stated that the NUTS have already been reviewed on several occasions, the most recent occurring in 2016. He outlined that any proposed changes to classifications must be done “at least two years in advance of the next cycle”. The Director of Economic Development added, “The next classification cycle commences in 2021 and it is already too late to propose changes for this cycle”. He acknowledged that the motion focused more on branding that geocoding.
“Before the changes this area was known as the Shannon region and it carried great clout. I hope this motion will be sent to Limerick and Tipperary. There can be a joint motion sent to Minister Murphy to send to Europe to make the change, it would be of great benefit to our area,” Cllr Crowe maintained.
Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) praised the Sixmilebridge representative for putting forward “an excellent motion”. He commented, “We have the River Shannon, the Shannon Estuary, Shannon Airport, we’re trying to spread the word of Shannon Airport. In the Mid-West region while we’re aware of it, I don’t think it resonates with the larger public. The name Shannon is out there”. McMahon felt it would act as a counter-balance, “the battle is being lost but anything that can help our region to bring it more focus and more investment is welcome”.