Saturday 18 November 2017 06:31:00 AM

Downpatrick Masterplan To Drive ReSTORE Project
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OVER a year ago the Downpatrick Master Plan was launched and now it is driving forward with a new initiative to set up a reSTORE project. This will be the first step in the Market Street Renewal plan.

This is one of the key priorities of the Masterplan and hopes to breath new life into trade, improve appearances, and entice tourists, visitors and shoppers and to generally improve safety in Downpatrick.

Aideen Brennan, Down Council Senior Economic Development Initiatives’ Manager, said that “Down District Council in partnership with the Department of Social Development (DSD) has already established a Masterplan Implementation Group to progress recommendations for the Downpatrick Masterplan. The Implementation Group will soon be making an application for funding to the DSD and the action plan will be presented to the them.

“Prior to submitting the action plan, a presentation to all businesses will take place at a public meeting in Downpatrick in the St Patrick Centre on Wednesday 19th October at 6pm. The area identified for the reSTORE project  broadly mirrors where the Public Realm works were recently completed and a number of businesses in this area of the town recently participated in a business survey and gave their opinions on what the priorities of the Downpatrick reSTORE project should be. We also conducted surveys with members of the public in Downpatrick in the last week to gauge their opinions and impressions of the town. The meeting will be an opportunity for local businesses to air their ideas and views on the proposal.

“But separate from this presentation and discussion on how the restore programme will benefit Downpatrick, there will be the setting up of a formal business group which is a requirement of the reSTORE programme.”

New Downpatrick Chamber Of Commerce Proposed

A new Chamber of Commerce and Trade is to be set up in Downpatrick.

Aideen Brennan, Senior Economic Initiaties’ Manager said, “As part of the effort to bring the reSTORE programme forward we have to separately have a

The centre of Downpatrick which recently benefitted from a Public Realm works.

formal business group working chaired and elected by business members from the  town. At the meeting on Wednesday 19th at 6pm in the St Patrick Centre the business people will get the opportunity to learn how a new Chamber can benefit their business. This chamber will be a completely separate entity from Down District Council, fully autonomous and independent and in charge of its own affairs.

“There will therefore be an opportunity for new business start-ups and established businesses to get the benefit of established business advice, services, support and training which are essential elements to business success. Membership of the new Downpatrick Chamber of Commerce and Trade will provide all of this including networking events and member only discounts and benefits.

“The combined resources of the Downpatrick Chamber of Commerce and Trade will enable it to be the voice of local busininess at local, regional and national levels. The public policy and advocacy capability is unrivalled and will ensure maximum impact with key decision makers. The Chamber will be a natural partner in the town for Down District Council and other public sector bodies and will be the most influential business representative body in the town.

“Chamber members will have endless opportunities to meet with other members in order to promote your business and develop long-term relationships. So if you are interested in joining the new chamber and finding our more come along to the meeting on Wednesday 19th October at 6pm in the St Patrick Centre.”

Nomination forms have already been sent out to businesses in Downpatrick and have to be returned by October 17th. Self-nominations are welcome.

All inquiries to:  email [email protected] or telephone 028 44 619870 or FAX at 028 44 619879.

How your business benefit from joining  Downpatrick  Chamber of Commerce

* New business contacts – meet and network with new businesses and potential clients or partners.

* Managed by members – the Chamber is managed by an Executive made up solely of Chamber members elected annually by fellow members thus ensuring that Chamber needs are addressed.

* Business organisation – you will receive co-operation and assistance from the most capable firms and business leaders in the community.

* Representation – The Chamber will be a voice for its members in local, regional, and national government.

* Referrals – members will receive requests for goods and services and and they will have an instant network to send them to, therefore increasing sales for all.

* Involvement – Chamber members can MAKE THE DIFFERENCE by working to improve the quality of life and business environment.

* Publicity and exposure – Chamber members can aim to achieve real exposure through media contacts and co-operation.

* New customers – The Chamber will support industries and business that bring people, employment and a better economy to Downpatrick.

* Buy locally – members will support the idea of keeping money moving within the local economy and backing local businesses.

* Informed members – members will benefit by being in contact with one another and will be cued in to regional and national issues affecting them, their businesses and their communities.

A dull autumn day in Downpatrick but the town has a brighter future.