Calls for Main Street boost fall on deaf ears

by Gazette Reporter
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Fingal County Council has no short-term plans for the regeneration of Swords main street and town centre. All plans for the regeneration of the area are long-term and will be done as part of the regeneration of Swords Castle.
However, a number of councillors have said they would like to see something done in the short-term.
Cllr Justin Sinnott (Ind) recently brought up a number of issues with the main street in relation to encouraging new businesses to locate in the town, traffic management and parking, the upgrading of paving and road surfaces and tree management.
He said: “The funding has been allocated for Swords Castle for the next three years and that’s moving on apace. I just want to keep the issues in terms of the main street in Swords to the front of the agenda. The castle is an issue we’re moving on, but the north of the street has to be dealt with as well.”
Cllr Duncan Smith (Lab) said “What needs to be done with main street isn’t just the castle, we need to get the [unoccupied] housing units filled as well.
“Anything that’s boarded up is a dereliction, be it a house, a business or anything else.”
The initial phase of the redevelopment of Swords Castle was begun recently with the engagement of consultants to draw up a master plan for the project. This will take three years and cost €3m. However the entire project will take many years.
In response to these queries from councillors about short-term measures to regenerate the main street and town centre, the council said the Swords Castle Master Plan “will over time regenerate Swords Castle and its environs. The study area for this project includes the northern part of main street. The council has no immediate proposals to undertake other civic works within Swords town centre during 2015”.
Meanwhile in response to queries about disused storefronts on main street the council has said that the owners of these premises can apply to its business promotion grant scheme to fund refurbishment.
The scheme can provide grants of €20,000 each to 10 businesses throughout Fingal.
Full details of the scheme and an application form are available at www.fingal.ie or by contacting Rachel Lindsay,[email protected].

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