The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD has today welcomed a major retail revitalisation programme for Co. Carlow, which aims to bring more retailers and new jobs to South Leinster.
The ‘Carlow Town Team Revitalisation Programme’ features seven key supports with an investment of over €130,000; the plan is being rolled out by host of organisations working together, such as the Carlow County Enterprise Board, the Local Authorities, the Chamber of Commerce and IT Carlow.
Setting out to improve the retail environment for existing businesses and to encourage new retailers to ‘set-up shop’ in the town, the ambitious programme includes grants for commercial rates, shop front improvement schemes for vacant properties, pop-up shop opportunities along with training programmes for those working in the sector.
Launching the Carlow Town Investment Prospectus in Dublin today, Minister Bruton said: “This is a great example of how by working together businesses can help revitalise the enterprise environment and create jobs. I wish every success to all involved”.
Tom Barry, county manager and chairperson of Carlow County Enterprise Board pointed out that Carlow’s population is growing faster than the national average, with the second largest increase in disposable incomes levels. He said: “Carlow offers excellent transport infrastructure, combined with a well-populated catchment area and access to a highly- educated workforce. Through the Carlow Town Revitalisation Programme, practical and valuable incentives are on offer, to help retailers grow their businesses, bringing more foot-fall to the streets of Carlow.”
In addition to the new investor prospectus, the Retail Excellence Ireland-backed programme includes a ‘Rates Incentive Grant Scheme’, offering up to 5% off commercial rates for 2014; a ‘Vacant Property Retail Incentive Scheme’, to cover store fit-out and shop front improvements; an ‘Art, Craft and Food Shop’ incentive scheme on several specified streets, a ‘Pop-Up’ scheme for temporary retail space, a ‘Retail Development Programme’ to improve retail skills of store owners and a ‘Start Your Own Retail Business’ workshop for those thinking of opening up a new retail outlet locally.