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Reimagine Session – Town Centre First in practice
13:00 - 14:00
Online via Zoom. Free event, registration required.
Friday 24 November, 1pm-2pm
Online via Zoom.
This Reimagine Session will focus on the Town Centre First Policy in practice.
The Town Centre First policy aims to “create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, while also functioning as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community.”
In 2023, the twenty-six pilot towns selected to take part in Phase One developed their Town Centre First Plans.
During this webinar you will hear about the development of one such plan, for Clara in County Offaly, from three perspectives. First you will hear from National Town Centre First Coordinator Mairéad Hunt on the national picture and the Town Centre First Policy as a framework for placemaking. Olwen Cummins, Town Regeneration Officer for Offaly County Council, will speak about establishing a Town Team and her role supporting the community through the process of developing a plan for their town. Finally, Bernie Henry, chair of the Clara Town Team, will discuss how the community of Clara approached the Town Centre First process and delivered a positive vision for the future of their town.
Join us to learn how Town Centre First is establishing Ireland’s first consistent approach to placemaking and how you can access available resources.
This event may be of particular interest for those considering applying for Hometown Architect project funding.
Photo: Clara, Co. Offaly, courtesy of Town Centre First National Office.
Appointed as the National Town Centre First Coordinator in August 2022, Mairéad brings over 25 years’ experience in Local Government across 4 Local Authorities and multiple departments including Planning, Roads, and Environment. Prior to her appointment, Mairéad led a multidisciplinary Strategic Projects and Public Realm team in Kildare County Council. The team were successful in gaining an unprecedented level of funding for the delivery of Kildare’s key strategic projects which are transformative in terms of both place making and economic opportunity.
Olwen graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in 1998, followed by a Higher Diploma in Education in 1999. Olwen has experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry before entering Local Government. She has 23 years’ experience working in Local Authorities, covering various sections including Environment, HR, Planning, Housing and Town Clerk. Olwen is currently the Town Regeneration Officer for Offaly County Council and has been involved in regeneration for Offaly’s towns and villages for the last 4 years.
Bernie has had career and academic experiences in different fields at home and abroad, including, though not exclusively, Merchant Banking, Business Development, Child and Youth Services, Family Mediation and Education. The triangular relationship between community, economics, and the spaces we exist within, plus the impact that relationship has on our very being, has always intrigued her. On retirement, Bernie became active within the Clara Heritage Society, a society that is very active within the community. Through her interaction with the Heritage Society, in 2022 she became involved with the Offaly County Council TRO and the Clara Town Team. Bernie is now the chair of Clara Town Team.