September 16, 2017
The Social Democrats have put forward a 10-point plan to revive ailing and run-down main streets in towns and villages around the country.
Starting at noon today, Saturday 16th September, Social Democrats members across the country will post social media images of shuttered, unused or derelict premises in their main streets, under the hashtag #ProjectMainStreet.
The Social Democrats’ proposals are aimed at stimulating economic development and local job creation, ensuring that abandoned shop units are put to good use, and improving the overall appearance of our main streets.
“As anyone who lives in rural and urban towns or villages across the country knows, many of our main streets are increasingly run down and neglected, with boarded-up shop units and closed businesses,” said the party’s local area representative for Ballinasloe, Ken Campbell.
“Our proposals are about finding ways to put the life and vibrancy back into our main streets, both in rural Ireland and in pockets of our cities. The measures we are putting forward today are about promoting regional economic development, protecting the interests of main street traders, giving a leg-up to small businesses and entrepreneurs, and encouraging community, sporting and arts groups to use our main streets in practical and innovative ways.
“The appearance of our main streets is also very important, and small things like cheerful shop fronts and attractive street furniture or landscaping can stimulate people to shop and circulate, and generate community pride. If more people were living over the shops in our main streets, that would bring vitality and life.
“Overall, it’s about helping to repopulate and revive urban centres with amenities and services that people of all ages and backgrounds can access and enjoy. Our priorities as Social Democrats are to plan for the future and ensure sustainable economic development and strong communities.”
Social Democrats co-leader, Catherine Murphy TD, added:
“Our main streets are the shop fronts for our towns and villages and we can no longer ignore the fact that many of them are dying. Some of our proposals would be very easy to implement at little or no cost, while others might take some time, planning and funding.
“By promoting sustainable regional development, targeting resources where they have the greatest potential, and rethinking how we support businesses and enterprise at local level, we can ensure the vitality of our towns and villages.”
The Social Democrats’ Project Main Street proposals are:
For more information, download our Project Main Street proposals here.
16 September 2017