RGDATA meets with Minister Heather Humphries to discuss concerns
Association outlines impact of Brexit on independent retailers, the urgent need for investment in town centre regeneration and a national programme of Town Centre Health Checks
17 November 2016
A delegation of shop owners led by Tara Buckley, RGDATA director general yesterday met with Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys.
The association highlighted 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 €100,000 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. This realistic amount will make a real and tangible difference, according RGDATA, and can be funded from the €30m Town & Village Renewal Scheme Budget managed by Minister Humphreys’ Department.
“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,” Buckley said.
Shop owners in attendance also outlined their concerns about the need for better rural Broadband services.