Damien English T.D., Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, today (20 September) announced a package of measures to support the revitalisation of Tipperary Town following extensive engagement with local stakeholders and representatives. Over a 3-year period, these measures will facilitate a partnership approach between the local community, Tipperary County Council and key other stakeholders in order to develop and deliver an action plan for the town.
The Minister is delighted to announce that Ms. Carmel Fox, former chief executive of Ballyhoura Development Company, has agreed to serve as an independent chair for this process and he said that “I know Carmel will bring her extensive knowledge of local, social and community development issues to bear on this process and will set high standards for all the partners working to revitalise Tipperary Town”. The Minister noted that Ms. Fox will play a key role in bringing all local stakeholders together to develop an agreed path forward for the town.
The first key step in the revitalisation process will be the production of a “Collaborative Town Centre Health Check” for Tipperary Town. The Health Check is a pilot initiative developed by The Heritage Council which brings together the private, public and civic sectors in a town to develop an agreed town centre-led commercial, heritage and tourism baseline from which an action plan can then be developed. Minister English expressed his appreciation to Ms. Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, for facilitating the inclusion of Tipperary Town in the initial pilot phase of the Health Checks process. The Minister specifically said “I welcome the support of the Heritage Council in the Tipperary Town Centre Health Check. I know this process works really well in identifying key issues and bringing people together with a common sense of purpose”
Minister English was also pleased to confirm that the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is making funding available to assist with the recruitment of a full-time project manager who will work on developing agreed actions and funding proposals / bids on foot of the finalised Tipperary Town Health Check. Tipperary County Council is fully committed to supporting this project and it is hoped that the recruitment process will commence in the coming months.
The Minister wished well to all the participants in this revitalisation project and he reiterated his Department’s support. He noted that Ms. Fox will meet with Ms. Alison Harvey of the Heritage Council early next week to discuss a more detailed timeline for the Tipperary Town Health Check and that this will then inform the timing of the recruitment of a fulltime project manager.