Senator Ged Nash.
It seems that the “can do” spirit that was so evident in Drogheda in the run up to the Fleadh Cheoil has taken root.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Senator Ged Nash says that the time has come for Drogheda to create a ‘Business Improvement District’ or ‘BID’ scheme to enhance and promote the centre of the town as a place in which to shop, visit, work, live and enjoy.
Senator Nash says he has been engaging with local businesses and informally with the local authority on the prospect of such an initiative for several months now, and that the idea is gaining considerable traction.
“BID schemes involve the ratepayers in a defined area, (i.e. the urban area of Drogheda), coming together to establish a limited company with the support of the local Council to develop a business plan and a series of concrete proposals for the improvement of the town through agreed common projects which are of economic, social and cultural benefit to all” Nash explained.
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“The BID schemes are democratically operated and are funded by a small, agreed levy on top of the existing annual rate paid to the local authority.The schemes also employ a full-time Town Centre Co-Ordinator.
“My work on this potential project commenced a number of months ago and was sparked by an approach from a number of very progressive business people in Laurence Street” the Drogheda Senator said.
“I believe that the appetite is now there in the context of the momentum generated by the Fleadh for such a scheme to operate in Drogheda.
“The Fleadh Cheoil has proven that when we take control of our own destiny, we can make things happen”.
He explained that this is not about imposing an extra levy on anybody to fund core work that the Council should be doing.
“It is about bringing additionality to that work, and putting a progressive vision of what Drogheda can be into action.”
He said that BID schemes have worked well in Dundalk, Sligo, Sandyford and other parts of the country and he believes that the time is right to start work on such a scheme in Drogheda.
Senator Nash said he will be inviting local businesses to a meeting on the issue in Drogheda in the coming weeks.