23 June 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Cork County Council, as part of its Project ACT initiative (Activating County Towns) is building upon its supports to businesses by offering a locally tailored Shop Front Improvement Scheme in the towns of Passage West and nearby Carrigaline. This local initiative is just one example of the range of diverse supports catering to the unique needs of towns and villages across the County.
Above: Passage West is on the route taken by ships from the sea to Cork City, however, it’s glory days in shipping commerce have long passed, with the yard earmarked for many developments which didn’t materialise. Many buildings on the Main street are in need of visual investment, nevertheless, there is a great community spirit in Passage West with Cllrs such as Marcia D’Alton to the forefront.
Above: The former Convent School in Passage West remains boarded up, it too was earmarked for redevelopment which has yet to take place, nevertheless, there is a great community spirit in Passage West with Cllrs such as Marcia D’Alton to the forefront.
In the Carrigaline MD the Shop Front Improvement Scheme was initiated in the course of local Project ACT meetings with local business representatives and other stakeholders. It allows for tenants or owners of buildings to avail of funding to cover costs of materials, labour and sign replacement to enhance the facade of street facing outlets, stores and services, ensuring a positive experience for shoppers as our towns and villages continue to reopen.
The owner of Akkaya Turkish Barbers in Passage West, Arif Akkaya, spoke of the benefits of the scheme having availed of the fund in 2019,
“We’re all very excited to return to the people of Passage West, who it’s clear to see need us as much as we need them! Being back in business will be a welcome relief both for us and for our customers. We understand that an improvement in appearance can give confidence, which is exactly why we are once again participating in the Streetscape Improvement Scheme. We’re proud of our store and proud of our community and we know that the improvements we’re making with the help of Cork County Council will enable help Passage West to get back to business.”
Speaking of the scheme, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Ian Doyle encouraged business owners in Carrigaline Municipal District (the Council uses the concept of MD’s as sub divisions of the County) to avail of the scheme, saying,
“This is one of the many initiatives the Council is undertaking alongside the local community to help in the activation of our county towns and village and will see a transformation of participating stores and shop fronts, enhancing streetscapes as a whole. Moving forward with the phased lifting of restrictions, we can all help with the revitalisation of our communities and local economies by committing to shop locally and support our local businesses. Keeping our towns and villages looking fresh and inviting has a big part to play in this.”
The Council’s Project ACT initiative aims to promote regeneration and business growth across Cork County in the aftermath of Covid 19. Further information on Project ACT initiatives can be found at www.corkcoco.ie