The treasurer of Business Investment District Scheme Dundalk Limited (BIDS) Mr Paddy Malone, has been asked by Dun Laoghaire business professionals to brief them on how the Dundalk company was set up in 2009 to promote business in the town.
Dun Laoghaire has strong opposition from Dublin, just as Dundalk has opposition from Newry, and they are anxious to emulate the Dundalk project, the only one of its kind in the country.
The plebiscite to extend the company’s programme to 2018 will go before the ratepayers on 29 November.
The comapny is confident its programme for the next four years will give the town a competitive edge in business.
The company is approaching the end of its first full term and is seeking a second term from its members, the Dundalk ratepayers, who will vote in December on the new four-year plan.
“The company will not be taking any financial risks,” treasurer Mr Paddy Malone told the company’s recent agm.
“BIDS will facilitate organisations that want to run events and promotions.
“These organisations will take the financial risks. BIDS will not take any financial risks.”
He said other towns had contacted the company and were interested in setting up a similar operation in their own areas.
“Dun Laoghaire came and studied us,” he said, “Drogheda are looking at the idea and two towns in Cork have contacted me.”
Dun Laoghaire have Dublin to cope with as a business rival just as Dundalk has the Border to contend with.
He said the retail sector is the biggest employer in the private sector in Dundalk, so it is critical that it can work as a united body.
Cllr Marianne Butler said it is very important the company is run in the interest of the ratepayers.
BIDS Dundalk has already successfully focused on the local tourism business.
Chairman Brian O’Neill said one of the biggest tour operators in England is looking at the north-east area as a potential market.
Mr O’Neill has also pointed out that the company was instrumental in the locating of the tourist office at the Square after Failte Ireland had closed the office at Jocelyn street.
The company has also been successful in securing the town as the venue for the Ulster Dance Championships in November of next year and the following year.
This is a major achievement and will be a huge boost for local business as it attract up to 3,000 visiotrs.
And of course Giro d’Italia will be here in May.
On a local level he said the farmers’ market at the Square is growing in popularity and as already announced the ice rink at the Square will go ahead again this Christmas and will be brighter than ever.
Another successful project organised by BIDS has been Town Watch.
This community security service has been getting huge support from the business community and has been one of its most successful projects.