New Ross councillor calls for dedicated plan to help boost the town’s night-time economy

Cllr. Michael Sheehan. Photo;Mary Browne

David LoobyNew Ross Standard

The chairman of New Ross Municipal District is calling for a dedicated plan to boost New Ross town’s night time economy, ahead of the tens of thousands expected to descend on the town when the greenway opens.

Cllr Michael Sheehan said: “A night time economic development officer could draft a plan to assist prospective restaurant, cafe and pub owners to open businesses in New Ross.

“Last year there was a pilot project run all over the country with night time economic development officers who worked with different individuals in hospitality from publicans to hoteliers to cultural groups and galleries to try and develop night time scenes in towns.” Cllr Sheehan said having one person driving the economy of towns like New Ross could give it the edge. “That individual could pull all of the strands together from dining, to entertainment, to events that take place after the shops in the town centre close.” He said having a pedestrianised street – as is planned for Quay Street in New Ross for summer 2024 – would add to the ability to create a vibrant night time economy; one which attracts locals and tourists alike.

He said working with New Ross Municipal District and Wexford County Council’s Arts officer, the night time economy development officer could support festivals promotion in the New Ross area.

“They would help people establish new restaurants, hostelries, bars and nightclubs. By the end of the summer New Ross is going to be in a position where the huge amount of investment in the Emigrant Park and South East Greenway will see huge numbers coming into the town, with more to come in 2024 when works begin on the bridge and tunnel to complete the greenway.” He is appealing to local groups to apply for a new round of funding, running to up to €10,000.

The latest call for Night-Time Economy funding is targeted at museums and galleries and offered to those museums who are members of the Irish Museums Association and also museums are members of the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland

Funding will be offered on a pilot basis to local and regional museums and galleries who wish to open later and use their spaces in more diverse way, working with new partners.

Under the scheme up to €10,000 will be made available to open later for a minimum of four nights.

The funding is being offered to museums and galleries that are institutional members of the Irish Museum Association and/or are a member of the Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI).

Applicants must commit to opening until at least 9 p.m. while using space in new ways and working with new partners is encouraged to attract new audiences for the museum/gallery space and inspire new uses of existing spaces in the community for late night artists and cultural communities.

Events which can be funded include but not limited to, late evening or night tours, live music, live DJ, dancing (performative or participatory!), exhibitions, poetry readings, comedy shows (stand up, sketch or improvisation), theatre, film, live podcasts, storytelling, classes and wellbeing initiatives.

Applications for amounts greater than €10,000 will be considered should a regional museum or gallery want to roll out a prolonged and/or more ambitious programme of events. Applicants can work with their local Arts Officer, Heritage Officer, Creative Ireland Culture Team, Tourist Officer or other relevant stakeholders to help develop the programmes.

Costs covered include but not limited to: tour guides, late night staff costs, costs related to carrying out a visitor survey/exhibition survey, security costs, event insurance, artist’s, performers, guides fees/costs etc. (artists/performers must be paid), set-up/staging costs, AV costs and equipment hire, marketing and advertising

The scheme opened for applications on May 17 and will close on June 28.

All cultural activities must take place before November 12 and all funds must be drawn down by no later than November 17 to ensure payment.

For more information contact