Sunday 9 December 2018

Big business is needed to revive town

Main Street, Arklow
Main Street, Arklow

Arklow is in desperate need to a major business or retail giant to help increase footfall and reinvigorate the Main Street.

Following recently published figures which indicate that Arklow has the 15th highest vacancy rate in the country at 20 per cent, a local county councillor has outlined that there are a number of contributing factors.

'The 20 per cent vacancy rate in retail shops comes as no surprise. The fact that the figures are up slightly, by 0.1 per cent is a worrying trend. However, some units have been unoccupied for so long that they not fit for purpose,' said Cllr Pat Fitzgerald.

He outlined that while there are many vacant units in Arklow, many businesses are operational on Main Street, providing significant employment to people in the area.

Cllr Fitzgerald also welcomed a number of planning applications for residential units over shops on Main Street, which he believes will 'bring life back to the street'.

He also outlined a strategy for using unoccupied units for much-needed housing.

'I believe that vacant retail units should be re-purposed for housing which is more badly need than extra retail space,' he said.

The issue of derelict buildings, however was one that is particularly concerning for Arklow.

'I have been contacted about the number of what could be deemed derelict buildings on the main street. While such sites can be subject to a 3 per cent levy, only those properties assessed as being in a ruinous,neglected or debris strewn conditions qualify for the penalty.

He said that he hoped to see some big business locating in the area in the near future which would increase footfall to the street.

Wicklow People