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Home > Your Council > Communications Office > Press releases from July 2019 > Collaborative Town Centre Health Checks for South

31/10/19 Collaborative Town Centre Health Checks for South Donegal towns launched


Pictured at the launch of the South Donegal Collaborative Town Centre Health Checks in Ballyshannon on Friday last are Benny Dorian, Dorian’s Hotel, Cllr. Barry Sweeny, Cllr. Michael Naughton, Alison Harvey, The Heritage Council, Dr. Neil Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, Anne Marie Conlon, Donegal County Council, Cllr. Michael McMahon, Eunan Quinn, Donegal County Council, Cllr. Tom Conaghan and Terry McIntyre, Erne Enterprises.


A new report presenting collaborative town centre health checks for Donegal Town, Ballyshannon and Bundoran was officially launched on Friday past in Ballyshannon. 


The report presents the findings of research carried out by students from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), which looked at how town centres in South Donegal can adapt to challenges that many towns across Ireland are facing through the decline of traditional High Streets, falling residential occupancy rates and poor-quality environments often relating to the dominance of vehicular traffic over public space. 


This research was conducted as part of the Collaborative Town Centre Health Check (CTCHC) Programme, which has been developed by the Heritage Council in collaboration with third level institutes, local authorities and business groups around Ireland.  Students from QUB’s Planning School collected survey data from users/consumers and businesses and carried out a detailed land use survey to examine the use and mix of floorspace, in order to calculate key indicators such as vacancy levels in the three town centres. Pedestrian counts and a survey of car parking spaces were also undertaken.


Ali Harvey, CTCHC Co-ordinator with the Heritage Council said that “this survey work, which is being undertaken as part of the CTCHC Border Towns Network, demonstrates the importance of having a robust baseline and reliable data to inform decision-making and investment proposals for town centre renewal and revitalisation. The collaborative effort and wonderful ideas produced by the students from QUB have been very rewarding and the innovative partnerships created bode well for the future of the three historic towns involved.”


Dr Neil Galway, QUB, said “Queen’s University looks forward to continued collaboration with all the agencies involved in this student-based regeneration project to maximise the opportunities for this area, ensuring it continues to prosper and grow. We are delighted that the students’ ideas have been so warmly received by all the partners involved.”


Speaking at the launch of this report Leas Chathaoirleach of Donegal Municipal District Cllr. Michael McMahon welcomed the CTCHC Report saying “this report provides us with a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing town centres in these three important towns in the Municipal District of Donegal.  Each town has a unique role to play in the development of our District and the proposals presented in this final report will go a long way to informing the strategic priorities for the Local Area Plans for each of these towns guiding future development and investment in the years ahead.”


A copy of this report is available here.

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