In a statement issued today, Boyle Town Team has announced details of future plans to assist in the further development of the town.
Chairman Brian Nerney said “It has been a successful year for Boyle Town Team, the Roscommon County Council led group that is a little over one year in existence and today we are delighted to announce our strategic plan that we hope will further develop our town.”
In reviewing what has been a positive number of months for the Team, details were also made public of what is planned for 2017 and beyond.
Six Town Teams were established throughout the county – Boyle, Ballaghaderreen, Castlerea, Strokestown, Roscommon and Monksland.
In Boyle the current Team members are: Brian Nerney, Justina Gavin, Frank Geelan, Martin Connolly, Patricia Golden, Alison Clarke, Dara Callaghan, Cecil Draper, Sinead Devine, John Cummins, Bodo Funke, Mervyn Boles, David Gunning, Trevor Conroy, Margaret Mulligan, Lydia Dwyer and Michael Ewings.
With the aim of re instilling pride, creating jobs, facilitating start ups and re energising and reinvigorating the towns, the Teams hit the ground running.
In the first four months of existence, Boyle Town Team identified a number of projects and quickly got to work on them.
With funding from the Municipal District, monies were spent on the following projects:
Christmas Lights, Fall in Love with Boyle Weekend, Vacant Window Murals, Power Washing Monuments, Funding Boyle Tidy Towns Shrubs, Town Bunting, BoyleTM website and Traders Christmas promotion 2015.
Bi monthly meetings were held during 2016 and towards the end of the year an application was made to enter the Bank of Ireland Enterprising Town Awards.
At the awards night last week Boyle was not only judged to be the county winner but also the overall national winner in the competition.
Now armed with the award, the Town Team has announced details of projects they plan to embark on in 2017 and subsequent years:
Lough Key Greenway
Team member David Gunning is leading plans to establish a greenway from the first gate of Rockingham to Lough Key Forest Park. David says the idea is to bond links between the town and Park. David and other Team members are currently working with Coillte, Moylurg Rockingham, The Council and Roscommon Leader Partnership on the project.
Margaret Mulligan is the Team member who will be the lead person in moving this novel idea forward. With no hotel as yet in the town, the Team are currently looking at a different approach to the town centre accommodation situation. Discussion are currently taking place with Roscommon Co Co and other bodies to have incentives put in place for property owners in Boyle Town Centre to refurbish accommodation in their buildings to Bord Failte approved hotel standard. The Team will establish a new company to run this “scattered hotel rooms” concept. The company will manage the rooms, clean and let them and charge a management fee to the owners. They will also accept bookings on line and in person from a town centre office. Once up and running the company will create a number of jobs, have a visible presence on line and in the town centre, thus increase foot fall and be the location where you can book a high quality room in which to stay in Boyle town centre. It is hoped the idea will also give rise to the establishment of complimentary businesses in the food sector and service sectors.
Courthouse and Model Railway
The Team put an application forward under the Town and Village Renewal scheme to house the model railway in the old Courthouse. They were successfully awarded €72,000 and with assistance from Team members Frank Geelan and Martin Connolly work is progressing on what will be an addition to the all weather tourist facilities in Boyle with an April 2017 opening date. Additional work is planned by the Team and Courthouse Committee for the historic building
Train the Ambassadors
Boyle Town Team intend to commence this initiative in the New Year. It is propose to organise a familiarisation weekend on all we have to offer in Boyle for front line personnel who meet tourists in the town on a regular basis. This would include petrol pump attendants, waiters/waitresses, bar people, tour guides etc. The Team will bring the personnel on tours of Boyle Abbey, King House, Zipit, Boda Borg and other local attractions and outline and explain all that Boyle has to offer the tourist so that the knowledge can be imparted in the 2017 season and beyond by the newly trained ambassadors
Age Friendly Business Programme
As Boyle progresses it’s plans to become the county’s first age friendly town, Team member Margaret Mulligan and her committee will work with the various local organisations to ensure businesses in Boyle are age friendly.
Develop the Second Gate of Rockingham
Team member Dara Callaghan and others are currently in discussion to move forward plans for the refurbishment and regeneration of this historic structure. Meetings have taken place with Coillte and the Irish Landmark Trust and it is hoped to restore the building back to it’s origional condition and offer it for short term accommodation letting. A conservation architect has been engaged and Boyle Chamber of Commerce are working closely with the Town Team on this project to secure the maximum grant aid available to facilitate the works.
Town Regeneration Project
Planners from Roscommon Co Co have been working in Boyle for the last number of weeks on plans for a town centre regeneration project. Chairman Brian Nerney is the lead person from the Team on the project, which it is hoped will initially regenerate the Main Street and Patrick Street areas of the town. It is proposed to establish the “King House Cultural Quarter”, The Frybrook Creative Quarter” and “The Riverside Area”. Colour schemes for buildings in each area are being drawn up, work on the “back streets” through an art project is progressing and a draft regeneration plan is being prepared to include street furniture and tree planting. Various stages of this plan will be progressed subject to funding. It is proposed to commence a trial in the New Year on a regeneration of the area on Quarry Lane in the vicinity of the Enterprise Centre. Working with the council and Roscommon county arts office it is planned to make the area more visually attractive through street art, furniture and paving.
Chairman of Boyle Town Team Brian Nerney said it is an exciting time for Boyle: “Boyle was not awarded the overall Enterprising Town award just because we are a quaint town in a lovely location. Boyle won the award because it is what it says on the trophy – an “enterprising town”, a place that is not sitting back but is pro actively seeking to reach it’s full potential”.
“All organisations are now working well together, there is a growing sense of pride in the town and we have the backing of Roscommon Co Co to ensure the items outlined above can become a reality” said Brian.
“Boyle Town Team’s aim for 2017 and beyond is to bring the plans to fruition. If we make our town more visually attractive with added features, then the Team believe the businesses and industry will follow”, concluded the Chairman.