THE elevation of Drogheda to city status will further encourage major firms to consider moving to the Boyneside.
Drogheda Chamber President Graham Hughes revealed that companies are looking at moving to the town because of the infrastructure that already exists.
'We have an airport up the road, a main rail line, the port, communications, housing, amenities and education bases,' he stated.
'Yes, there are companies looking at coming to Drogheda and there is no doubt that achieving actual city status will add to the interest in this area.'
He was speaking at the launch of the new Drogheda City status campaign website and campaign office at the d Hotel last week.
'The campaign is something that the chamber will be backing and pushing forward because major firms move to cities and we have to be part of that. Times will change in this country and different industries will come,' he added.
The drive to achieve city status for Drogheda is gathering pace with the backers setting May 2011 as the time when the campaign will culminate in a presentation to the borough council who will then move to attain the goal.
'There is so much talk out there about what a town must have before it is considered a city but most of that is incorrect. All that is needed is a change to the Local Government Act 2001 to allow our town to become a city. The people alone can inspire that by signing the petition which is now on the website www. droghedacitystatus.com,' stated Cllr Kevin Callan from the committee behind the move.
'People have to leave this meeting believing what can be achieved and getting everyone in this town to sign that petition. We can do this,' he added.
His words were echoed by 'Mr Drogheda' Vincent Hoey who wants to see 2012 as the year that Drogheda truly comes of age.
'Drogheda became one in 1412 when the two sides of the town, separated by the Boyne, joined up and in two years' time we'll be marking the 600th anniversary of that moment. Surely marking it by announcing that Drogheda is now a city is something we should all work towards,' he stated.
Deputy Mayor Ged Nash stated that Drogheda had been 'bypassed and overlooked for years' and had been 'suffocated' due to its proximity to the border with Co Meath.
'We have to sell this idea to the people and show them the benefits that making Drogheda a city will bring. We have a proud past but it's a very exciting future,' he added.
Pat Carr, Niall Kierans, Gary Everitt and Donnachada MacRaghnaill, chairman of the Drogheda Council of Trade Unions, all outlined aspects of the city project with Donnachada explaining that city status will mean a city manager and city councillors with new powers of governing the city as they see fit.
The new city status office is at 12A West Street and it is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday and the website features all the aspects of the campaign.