10-year blueprint for development of Kilkee is launched

A new strategy aimed at guiding the future promotion and development of Kilkee, Co. Clare, has been launched.

“Towards a Better Kilkee: A Town Improvement & Economic Development Strategy 2014-2024” has been prepared by Clare County Council, in association with Kilkee Town Council and various community groups.

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Clare County Council says the key focus of the 10-year strategy is to generate new employment opportunities in a town that has a 36% unemployment rate, promote the local tourism product and enhance the physical appearance of Kilkee.

The short and medium-term priorities outlined in the Strategy include carrying out a branding and marketing exercise for Kilkee, establishing contact with owners of all opportunity sites, promote the existing coastal walks by upgrading signage and information, conducting a survey of derelict sites in the town, carrying out upgrading works to the bandstand, producing a comprehensive scheme of street and lane signage, and establishing a Database of Accommodation linked to a comprehensive new website for the town.

Mayor of Kilkee Cllr. Paddy Collins: “I am delighted that Kilkee Town Council has been centrally involved with Clare County Council in the development and launch of this Strategy which comes just a few months before full responsibility for the management of the town passes over to the County Council. A blueprint for the future development and promotion of Kilkee and its environs has long been sought after by my Elected Member colleagues and I, and we are confident that this Strategy has identified a set of key actions that will make the town a better place to live, work, visit and invest.”

Commenting on the strategy actions aimed at boosting the local economy, Gordon Daly, Senior Planner with Clare County Council stated: “Over the summer season the population of Kilkee expands and while the average may be in excess of 5000 there can be significant spikes which can raise the numbers to 15,000 people or more, drawn by the attractions of the area. This seasonality is both an opportunity and a challenge in Kilkee and a sustainable business needs to earn enough during the peak season to cover annual costs.”

He added: “Since successful towns are attractive places, Clare County Council wishes to assist in enhancing the physical appearance of Kilkee as well as furthering the economic development of the town with this strategy. It is hoped that the strategy can form part of an integrated action plan for the rebranding and marketing of Kilkee for the benefit of all.”

Mr Daly also commended the various Kilkee community groups who inputted into the preparation of the plan and highlighted the “important asset” that the towns and villages of County Clare are.

Last night’s launch of “Towards a Better Kilkee” was attended by entrepreneur, broadcaster and former TV dragon, Bobby Kerr. Mr. Kerr, whose father hails from the West Clare town, made a guest presentation on the night.

Copies of the “Towards a Better Kilkee: A Town Improvement & Economic Development Strategy 2014-2024” are available from Áras Contae an Chláir, the Kilrush Civic Offices and Culturlann Sweeney Library, Kilkee. For further information contact Jacinta Cadden of the Planning & Enterprise Development Department, Clare County Council on 065 684 6401 / jcadden@clarecoco.ie.