Friday 19 January 2018

Concern over Sligo status in 2040 plan

Minister Simon Coveney launched ‘Ireland 2040 - Our Plan’ in the Model, Sligo recently. Pic: Carl Brennan
Minister Simon Coveney launched ‘Ireland 2040 - Our Plan’ in the Model, Sligo recently. Pic: Carl Brennan

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo County Council meeting

The Council is holding a special meeting this week to discuss Sligo's official response to the Government's 'Ireland 2040' plan.

Independent County Councillor Michael Clarke said he was "very concerned" about the Government's approach to Sligo's future in the plan.

He called for a discussion on the Council's response to the plan as Derry and Galway have been identified as growth hubs.

"The Government seems to have a change of approach to when Sligo was identified as a Gateway City in 2002 - it's almost 'God knows what we can do with Sligo' in their approach," he told the meeting.

"We definitely need to get our heads together on this. We need a special meeting," he said, "We're being left behind."

Council Chief Executive Ciarán Hayes said the deadline for the Council to make submissions on the plan was this Thursday March 16th.

Director of Services Dorothy Clarke said the Council will argue that Gateways should be seen as an integral part of the 2040 plan.

She said Sligo was ready to deliver on its Gateway designation in 2002 but investment in infrastructure dried up in the recession.

The Council plans to highlight Sligo's strengths and ambitions such as developing large-scale urban areas within the city in the Docklands, Caltragh, Ballinode, Cranmore and Sligo East City.

The Council will say future areas for growth include St Angela's College, IT Sligo and the IDA planned 32 hectare Business Park at Oakfield.

They also point out that Brexit "will be more devastating for this region than elsewhere" and will urge investment into Sligo to make it more resilient to this threat. They will strongly urge that Sligo should be designated as a regional growth centre in the 'Ireland 2040 Our Plan'.

"Even from a Geographic point of view, Sligo is well placed to be a hub for the region," said Ciarán Hayes. The meeting takes place this Wednesday March 15th.

Sligo Champion

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