Community business concept explored

Portlaoise Parish Centre cafe.

Portlaoise Parish Centre cafe.

Community-run shops and outlets such as the cafe at the Portlaoise parish centre can have a beneficial role in isolated rural areas.

Thirty delegates from Laois will attend a conference in the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Tipperary, March 21 to learn of the potential benefits of community-run shops and cafés in rurally isolated areas of county Laois.

Organised by Laois Partnership and their counterparts in counties Carlow, Kilkenny and Tipperary (North and South), the conference will bring community representatives and government agencies to explore, debate and shape the potential for community -run retail services in rural Ireland.

“We are delighted to be part of the team that has devised and organised this conference”, said Laois Partnership Chairman, Michael Bergin.

“We hope that it will both inform and enthuse the attending community champions in the potential of community-run retail services in rural Laois and that it will influence the attending politicians, public servants and media to support the Community Shop and Café concept with funding, regulation and informed exposure at a national level”, he concluded

Portlaoise Parish Centre Manager, Declan Kelly is among the speakers The café at Portlaoise Parish Centre will feature as an example of a successful volunteer-run retail service provided for community benefit. While the café serves solely tea and coffee, it is a popular meeting place. Go to




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