A delegation of shop owners led by Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA today (16 November 2016) met with Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys.
RGDATA highlighted independent retailers concerns about the impact of Brexit on independent retailers in border areas and throughout the country, the urgent need for investment in town centre regeneration and a national programme of Town Centre Health Checks to assist regional and rural development.
RGDATA welcomed the additional investment in rural regeneration in the Budget and the announcement of the Town & Village Renewal Scheme and urged the Minister to ensure that the scheme included investment in the development of National Town Centre Management strategic support services.
At the meeting, RGDATA delegation asked the Minister to consider the creation of a taskforce to deal with the challenges presented by Brexit for retailers in border areas.
They also asked her to consider the allocation of €100k for each of the next two years towards the cost of the Town Centre Health Check as tangible evidence of the Government’s commitment to rural regeneration. It is small money and will make a real and tangible difference and can be funded from the €30m Town & Village Renewal Scheme Budget managed by Minister Humphreys' Department.
Tara Buckley Director General RGDATA said “We impressed on the Minister that a strategic plan led approach, not one off projects, will mean we get more bang for our buck and genuine town and village renewal”.
“Shop owners who attended as part of the delegation had the opportunity to outline to the Minister their concerns about rural and regional regeneration, the impact of Brexit, the need for better rural Broadband services,” she added.
Kathleen Cahill, Communications Manager, RGDATA.
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