Shannon Chamber has welcomed the announcement by Clare County Council that contracts for the design of a key element of the new Shannon Town Centre Masterplan, the ‘One Shannon Hub’ have been signed.
CEO Helen Downes said: “As the leading business representative organisation for the wider Shannon area, Shannon Chamber had a high level of engagement with Clare County Council’s planning team at all stages of the development of the new Masterplan for Shannon Town Centre, ratified in January 2022.
“A key objective in our recently launched Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 is ‘To Champion the Delivery of the Shannon Town Centre Masterplan’, hence we continue to work collaboratively with the Local Authority in promoting Shannon, from an economic development, connectivity, and enhanced quality of life perspective.
“The signing of the design process is the first step towards the delivery of the Masterplan. The crucial next step will be the securing of funding to progress to the construction of the ‘One Shannon Hub’ initially, and ultimately, all elements of the Masterplan, as the business and local communities need to see this project move forward at pace.
“We would hope, as referenced in yesterday’s announcement, that the funding application being prepared by Clare County Council for submission to Government under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), to advance to the construction phase of the ‘One Shannon Hub,’ will deliver a positive outcome in late 2023 or early 2024. The implementation of the Shannon Town Centre Masterplan is critical, otherwise it will be seen as just a plan with no definitive delivery timelines.
“With the ongoing expansion and jobs announcement in Shannon and the Free Zone, and the growth of Shannon Airport, Shannon Town Centre now needs to be prioritised in terms of investment and the opportunities for enhanced town centre living given the connectivity and employment in the region.
Civic, community and cultural facilities combined with a mix of housing solutions are critical to the attraction and retention of the skilled workers required by thriving Shannon companies. The Masterplan provides a vision and way forward. We have consistently and clearly communicated with decision makers in Government that it is time for leadership, action and funding to convert vision to reality.
“The community, local businesses and Shannon Chamber will continue to work collaboratively with Clare County Council to make this happen. We have already engaged with Minister Darragh O’Brien to stress the importance of this project for Shannon, and we will be meeting with the Minister in early 2024.
“It is also great to see the enthusiasm extended by the Clare Council Council executives for the Shannon Town Centre Masterplan, however, the funding is crucial to its delivery so we will be relentless in our endeavours to influence this,” added Ms Downes.