Tanáiste Leo Varadkar (FG) is to launch the Ennis 2040 Strategy this Friday.
Plans to officially launch the much-anticipated strategy had been deferred since last January with the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin (FF) originally due to be the guest of honour.
Discussions continued between Clare County Council and the Taoiseach’s Department since then however the Tanáiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has been drafted in for the Cork native who had made commitments to launch the strategy.
Population growth of 1.6 percent per annum is one target for the county town under the Ennis 2040 Economic and Spatial Strategy along with the addition of 5,000 jobs by 2040.
As previously reported by The Clare Echo, there are nine transformational projects identified in the document. It suggests major retail and hotel use for a revamped Cornmarket St, commercial plans for the riverside area of Abbey St, improved pedestrian accessiblity at Harvey’s Quay and the Post Office Field, a potential multi-storey car park at Friar’s Walk and different future uses of the old Ennis National School building.
Developing a boardwalk and cycle paths at Clareabbey is hoped to boost its standing in the tourism sphere while further down the road the Roche site is included alongside Clare Technology Park as areas for future job creation.
Initially included among the transformational projects was the Ennis Data Centre, plans for which are currently paused.
Ennis will become Ireland’s first ‘climate adaptive town’ under the strategy which also references the ‘ten-minute town’ concept that is said to boost investment and deliver a better quality of life.
Former CEO of Moy Valley Resources, Kevin Corrigan has recently been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Ennis 2040 Designated Activity Company (DAC). He will move into the newly refurbished offices above the Clare Museum in mid-October.
Gerry Cahill formerly of Roche is to chair the DAC’s Board of Directors and it is also set to include AIB’s Kieran Considine, founder of TTM Healthcare Brian Crowley, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF), Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG), Cllr Ann Norton (IND), Clare County Council’s Head of Finance Noeleen Fitzgerald and Director of Service Liam Conneally.
In June, Clare councillors voted 23-5 in favour of drawing down a €10m loan for the Ennis 2040 DAC.