He's got the onerous task of boosting Drogheda’s flagging retail and business industries, as well as fulfilling some of the many ambitious projects of the LoveDrogheda committee.
But the new Chief Executive of the Drogheda Business Incentive District (BID) Trevor Conollly, is optimistic he can make a positive impact with the help of the local community.
Talking to the Drogheda Independent on only his second day in the role, it is too early to make any promises, and he is concentrating on building the relationships needed to succeed.
“I’ve spent the last two days meeting as many of the traders as I can, and really get to know what is wanted and needed,” says the Monaghan native.
“This is a very exciting time for Drogheda, and we have a big opportunity to pull together, and I’m looking forward to working with our partners in the local authorities, and build those relationships”.
With a background in urban planning, after a stint in the UK and Cavan, Trevor turned around his hometown of Monaghan over a four year period, delivering over 40 projects in that time.
“Everything there was town centre focused, and done for the benefit of the town, and every voice had their say,” he says.
“We had a modest budget to develop the projects and we worked with Retail Excellence Ireland guidelines to create Town Teams, concentrating on retail, hoteliers and tourism, very similar to what Drogheda needs.”
Trevor was hired by the local LoveDrogheda team on a five-year contract, and he is aware of the challenges he faces.
“The committee has done lots of fantastic work over the last few years to get this over the line, and now is the start of the real work,” says Trevor, a father of two young girls, who will commute from Monaghan.
“They have a wishlist of around 50 projects and we’ll meet and look now at the operational plan and see what’s deliverable. There’s no point in promising this or that immediately, as that’s just not realistic yet.”
One of his first goals is to start a positive narrative about Drogheda, highlighting all the many advantages the town has.
“It is the largest town in the country, with fantastic infrastructure, with close proximity to the motorway and the airport, so we should make the most of what we have,” he points out.
“We’ll start allocating budgets and start delivering projects as soon as we can.”
Trevor acknowledges the dedicated of the board of the BID, but says nothing will be achieved without the support of the public.
“We need the buy-in of the local community, as this is not just for businesses, this is for everyone.” he says.
“I really hope I can make a difference, but the reality is that 10,000 people are leaving Drogheda every day at 6am and don’t come back until 6pm, and they haven’t a chance to support local business and the challenge is to change that and give them a reason to stay here.”