independent

Sunday 26 October 2014

Co-ordination vital as three cinemas now in the pipeline

NAMA BACK €20M SCOTCH HALL SECOND PHASE INVESTMENT

HUBERT MURPHY

Published 21/11/2012 | 10:19

The announcement of the €20 million investment for the second phase of development at Scotch Hall has been widely welcomed but, with two other cinemas planned for the locality, there are fears one project may take away from another.

CO- ORDINATION between national bodies and local authorities is needed badly after it was disclosed last week that NAMA are to pump €20m into a second phase development at Scotch Hall, including a new cinema.

That comes after an announcement that a new cinema is being built in the town centre and there are proposals for another major cinema complex in the Drogheda Retail Park, situated in Co. Meath – which will include ample free parking.

'Where is the logic in all of this?,' local councillor Ken O Heiligh asked this week.

'NAMA, Louth County Council, Meath County Council and Drogheda Borough Council need to sit down and figure this one out. From having one cinema in the Boyne Centre, we are adding three more, with a capacity for thousands of people. There's a bit of going back to the past with this.'

While he welcomes any €20m investment, he wants to see the money wisely spent, urging that vacant outlets around the town be prioritised, before we start more large scale development.

'Do we have the numbers to fill thousands of seats?, will the Meath project take away from the other two?, has anybody looked at the overall plans here and considered what is best for Drogheda?,' he added.

He has major concerns for West Street and Narrow West Street, at a time when both are taking ' baby steps' back to activity.

'I would love to welcome every major development announced out there and any good news is welcome, but we have to look at the strategies and decide.

'Imagine that €20m being spent on West Street and bringing it back into a bustling street again.'

As NAMA are backing the Scotch Hall development with taxpayers money, he wants to see them be positive on employing local people on any building projects.

'It should be written into any proposal that local workers, even a percentage of them, should be taken on.

'What goes on in this town at times just grinds at people. They are qualified tradespeople and they see companies from outside this area coming in and they can't get employment with them. Yes, the authorities can talk about EU tendering, but something must be done. People just won't stand for it,' he stated.

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