Public meeting about revitalising Portlaoise town centre

Leinster Express reporter

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Leinster Express reporter

Public meeting about revitalising Portlaoise town centre

Portlaoise Town Centre is up for discussion at a public meeting next week.

The Green Party is hosting a public Zoom meeting, called Revitalising Portlaoise on 25 March.

It is part of their ‘Town Centres First’ strategy that aims to prevent town centres from falling victim to development on the outskirts.

The meeting will be addressed by Minister Pippa Hackett, Cllr Louise Heavin of Athlone, and local Green Party representative Sean McManus.

“We pushed for a Town Centres First strategy in the Programme for Government and we’d like to talk about how that strategy might apply to Portlaoise,” says Minister Hackett. “I’m also looking forward to hearing from Portlaoise residents on how they envisage the future of the town”

Architect and Green Party councillor for Athlone Louise Heavin is one of the proponents of the strategy.

“In the context of climate change, revitalizing our towns is a key part of sustainable development,” she says. “It’s better for the health and wellbeing of our communities, small businesses and regional economies. We also have a wealth of heritage in our town centres which is worth protecting and enhancing for future generations."

Portlaoise is on its way to becoming a low-carbon town and is receiving considerable funding under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund, most recently a €9million grant. It follows on from the €2.34m funding for the Cultural Quarter.

“Portlaoise is well-positioned to develop for the way we will live in the future, but we need to ensure we are attracting remote workers to come and live here,” says Sean McManus, the Green Party’s local representative in Portlaoise. “I’m looking forward to a good discussion on the future of our town and I would encourage everyone to come along to the Revitalising Portlaoise meeting.”

The meeting takes place online at 7.30pm on Thursday, 25 March 2021. You can register to attend here