BIDS is doing a worthwhile job

Mr Brian O’Neill, chairman Dundalk Business Investment District Scheme (BIDS), has welcomed the announcement that the Louth Economic Forum is to set up a sub committee to explore how Dundalk and Ardee can be developed economically.

Mr Brian O’Neill, chairman Dundalk Business Investment District Scheme (BIDS), has welcomed the announcement that the Louth Economic Forum is to set up a sub committee to explore how Dundalk and Ardee can be developed economically.

BIDS is the company which was set up to explore how Dundalk can develop economically. It was set up by Dundalk Town Counci and Chamber of Commerce and is backed financially by the council and commercial ratepayers.

This new sub committee will liase with BIDS and Dundalk Chamber of Commerce will be represented on the committee.

As acting county manager Joan Martin told members of Dundalk Town Council last week, there is no magic solution to the economic difficulties facing Dundalk and the future growth and prosperty of the town centre cannot depend entirely on the retail trade.

The redevelopment of the Market Square had been a great boost to the town and BIDS is now trying to promote a regular farmers and craft market at the Square.

Friday has always been the traditional market day in Dundalk and it is hoped to have a Friday market day in the town from May to October.

It was also hoped to have more entertainment and cultural events held at the Square rather than concentrating on a few extraviganzas.

Cllr Mark Dearey Markhas rightly pointed out that the BIDS company has been very useful creation, but not a game changer.

There are none.

He acknowledged that the challenge BIDS faces is difficult, not least because of the legacy “we as a council have left to the town centre”.

He has made the point that the Marches Shopping Centre and the town centre are not adequately linked and the town centre is really up against it.

But BIDS is doing a worthwhile job and deserves the support of everybody.

The town is quite rightly fully behind it.