Sligo has just completed and launched its second Local Economic and Community Plan for Sligo, entitled Sligo 2030 Strategy One Voice Once Vision.
At a gala launch in Sligo City Hall on 7th June, attended by elected members, TDs, business, community and social interests across Sligo, including guests from Government Departments, Minister Joe O’Brien, Minister of State for Community Development, Integration and Charities, launched the plan.
The Development of Sligo 2030 ‘One Voice One Vision’ is the collaboration of the work of the Council, all the Agencies delivering services in the county, and of course the Sligo Community.
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At the launch the Cathaoirleach of the Council Cllr Michael Clarke said ‘The development of the Plan represents the commitment of the Council in conjunction with key partners to lead out on a new Sligo Roadmap. Through this planning process a clear vision emerged on how our beautiful county should develop, respecting its unique selling points and directing resources towards ‘smarter and greener’ economic and community development. This strategy positions Sligo as an economic driver for the Northwest to improve prospects for our citizens yet enshrines principles of quality of life, the enhancement of an equitable and diverse society, and safeguarding our natural and built environment.’
The Plan set out the vision for Sligo, the vision behind the Sligo brand, which is for a smart, sustainable, and socially inclusive Sligo; one that cherishes its vibrant communities, protects and celebrates its unique environment and rich culture, and is a champion of innovative growth and development.
It was noted that Sligo with its main urban centre and key second tier towns of Tubbercurry, Ballymote and Enniscrone, is affordable and vibrant, and boasts easy access to all educational and recreational facilities. With its rapidly developing infrastructure it is the perfect place to base your career whether you are a graduate or a member of the retuning diaspora wanting to settle in the wonderful North West.
The approval of this Plan by the elected members of Council followed consideration by the Local Community Development Committee, the Strategic Policy Committee for Planning, Community & Economic Development, Arts & Culture, the Municipal Districts and Sligo Economic Forum inputs, and represents the fulfilment of an important function bestowed on Local Government.
Cllr Clarke said he wanted to acknowledge the officials of the Council and role of the Chair of the Sligo LCDC Cllr Dara Mulvey and Cllr Rosaleen O’Grady Chair of the SPC, both of which had key roles to bring the plan through its many refinements at Committee stages, during this important milestone era for Sligo.
Minister Joe O’Brien, Minister of State for Community Development, Integration and Charities, in launching the plan congratulated Sligo on being the 1st in the Country to adopt their new LECP which he said, was a remarkable achievement which illustrated the great extent of collaboration and leadership that exists in Sligo to enable this accompaniment.
He pointed out that the development of the LECP for the county is a very important task. As an umbrella strategy for the county to encapsulate all others it is an overarching framework to enable all economic, community, social and cultural development, take place in a planned and coherent manner.
He noted that in addition, the ambition of Sligo to develop a transformative 2030 strategy seeks to ensure that Sligo thrives as a vibrant, prosperous, sustainable and inclusive place.
The Minister recognised the work that Sligo has been engaged in over recent years to collectively promote Sligo under a Brand of ‘Live Green’, ‘Invest Smart’ and ‘Visit Sustainably’ pillars. He went on to say that ‘Set against the wonderful backdrop of Benbulben, and under the shadow of Knocknarea, and aligned to the rugged coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way, Sligo with its understated beautiful landscape evident in North, South and West Sligo, presents the perfect offer to people to live, invest and visit Sligo. With its educational institutions of the highest standards, including the ATU University status, highly skilled talent pool, and WB Yeats leading out on its cultural and creative offering, there is no other place that can offer more’.
A key role was played by the Community & Voluntary Sector in the making of this plan which sits alongside and complements the active business community and inclusive nature of the wider Sligo community. The bottom-up approach of the Public Participation Network in Sligo contributed to shaping the plan. Of course, Sligo has a proud tradition in Volunteering and Community development, and successfully hosted the European Volunteering Capital role in 2017 which is testament to how the voluntary sector has contributed to building capacity and recognising the importance of community groups and volunteers to support all society but particularly the more marginalised.
Dorothy Clarke, Deputy Chief Executive said at the event that ‘This smart and green Plan ‘Sligo 2030 One Voice One Vision’, represents the culmination of over 2 years work involving extensive socio economic research, public consultation, workshops, surveys, analysis, engagement with Agencies and many committee meetings. Taking into account current policies, opportunities and constraints, all agencies who are leads or supporting leads on actions, took on board the task of contributing hugely in developing this strategic and defining plan for Sligo’.
The public input and the collaborative model have been key in the approach taken in setting the ambitious 2030 vision and the solutions to the future needs for Sligo. The engagement from members of the public, business sector, public sector and community groups, to the invitation to participate in the workshops, surveys and webinars was heartening and valuable. This demonstrated a clear indication of the desire of the people of Sligo to seek to become involved and the best future for all.
There was agreement on many aspects of the needs for Sligo across Job opportunities, Housing, Infrastructural needs and Quality of life. And the opportunity that the Plan tries to grasp was how solutions could be found and developed to meet these needs and demands through a smart and sustainable model. The Plan identifies the High-Level Goals for Sligo which are all detailed in the document. Each of these goals are matched by Sustainable Objectives, and further by Actions and KPIs in the Implementation plan.
It is intended that that this plan will give focus to the enthusiasm and momentum in the county, from an integrated Community and Economic perspective, to build a better future for the community economy. Everyone agreed Sligo has it all!’