THE development of a new main street, town hall and innovation campus are among the main elements of the Shannon Town Centre Masterplan which has been adopted by members of the Shannon Municipal District of Clare County Council.
Shannon Chamber chief executive Helen Downes said they had a high level of engagement with Clare County Council’s planning team at all stages of the public consultation process and she welcomed the fact that the plan was subject to an economic viability assessment.
“Key elements of the plan that will be of specific interest to our members are the inclusion of an Innovation Campus and a new access road activating lands in the town centre. Having a large number of students and future workers within the innovation and education campus will be hugely supportive for the development of Shannon Town Centre.
“Shannon has always had a history of innovation and this new area will become a centre to continue that innovation, merging the needs of industry with further education and apprenticeship training. It will also inject vitality and life into the town centre during the day and evenings.
“We welcome the vision of the planning team and the commitment and vote of confidence of the local authority in Shannon Town to purchase the lands to achieve the creation of the new One Shannon Hub building, which will combine a town hall, performing arts venue, library and flexible co-working spaces in the town square.
“The development of a new ‘Main Street’ will be an innovative take on the traditional main street of Irish towns and will contribute to a sense of place for Shannon, where people come first.
“We look forward to seeing this Main Street bringing together local and independent retail, bars and restaurants, spaces for enterprise, education, showcase and in general an ‘urban front door’ to the Centre of Excellence and further into the innovation and education campus.
“The provision of high-quality dwellings in the town centre and improvement to the public realm will enhance the quality of town centre, potentially increase footfall and make Shannon a more attractive place to visit, work, shop and live,” added Ms Downes
In its submissions to the masterplan, Shannon Chamber reinforced its requirement for visible manifestation that it would be delivered on, and rolled out in its entirety to definitive timelines from the outset.
The Chamber also requested the appointment of a full-time project director, who would be charged with preparing and delivering on an implementation plan with key actions, timelines, and milestones.
“We hope these requests will be acted on as they are imperative to the successful delivery of the plan in full,” stated Ms Downes.