Wednesday 20 March 2019

Dundalk aims for top Enterprise Town title

The judging panel for the National Enterprise Town Awards visiting Dundalk last week
The judging panel for the National Enterprise Town Awards visiting Dundalk last week

Olivia Ryan

The very best of what Louth has to offer was on show for the panel of judges visiting Dundalk, Dunleer and Blackrock last week as past of the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018.

The business, education and community spirit that makes Dundalk unique was shared with the judges searching for Ireland's most Enterprising town last week.

The three judges in the Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards 2018 were taken on a bespoke guided tour of Dundalk which has been shortlisted in the larger town category.

Dundalk - along with Blackrock and Dunleer - is representing Louth as they each hope to be named the most enterprising town in Ireland; a title currently held by Tralee, county Kerry.

Some of the locations the judges visited were the Regional Development Centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), the Market Square at the heart of Dundalk town centre, and they concluded with a visit to the Tain Arts Centre.

Pat McCormick, President of Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, said, 'I hope the judges will see that Dundalk isn't just a single industry town, that we are open to new directions, keen to develop and ready to reimagine the possibilities inherent in any enterprise.'

'I hope they see the drive that the community has, to develop, to support each other and to strive for new opportunity.'

'The evidence is all around us, from the sports and social clubs which are supported by the community and local industry through the small enterprises building out of Creative Spark, the new businesses in the Regional Development Centre, the thriving and expanding local industries, the new companies relocating from the UK and Northern Ireland and the major international companies now based in Dundalk,' he added.

Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Louth, welcomed the judges to Dundalk added, 'The vibrant enterprise and community spirit in each of the towns was clearly evident to the judges, who were very impressed with the business and community leaders they met on their visit to Louth. Louth County Council through its Local Enterprise Office is delighted to have worked with the teams in Dundalk, Blackrock and Dunleer who made a magnificent effort presenting the very best of their locality and the rich entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in the county.

Paula Harmon, Bank of Ireland Head of County Louth said, 'The judges were extremely impressed by what they experienced in each of the towns. It was very evident that an enormous level of work went into each of the visits and all of those involved across Dundalk, Dunleer and Blackrock should feel very proud indeed."

"With judging taking place across the country it is fantastic to see such a high calibre from across Louth and I know everyone is really looking forward to seeing the outcome at the Awards night in November."

Cllr Liam Reilly, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council said, 'I am delighted that Dundalk has been nominated. Dundalk is such a vibrant town with a strong economic history where local authority, business and the wider community work together to ensures its success. This cohesiveness is needed more than ever as we edge closer to Brexit.'

The winners of the National Enterprise Town awards will be announced at an awards ceremony at the end of November.

The Argus