At the meeting, RGDATA highlighted independent retailers’ 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.
While RGDATA welcomed the additional investment in rural regeneration in the Budget and the announcement of the Town & Village Renewal Scheme, it urged the Minister to ensure that the scheme included investment in the development of National Town Centre Management strategic support services.
The delegation also asked the Minister to consider the creation of a task-force to deal with the challenges presented by Brexit for retailers in border areas and 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.
“It’s small money and will make a real and tangible difference and can be funded from the €30 million Town & Village Renewal Scheme Budget managed by Minister Humphreys’ Department,” stated the organisation.
“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,” commented Tara Buckley.
Shop owners also outlined their concerns about the need for better rural Broadband services.