Mallow Development Partnership outlines its plans for the future

Chairpersons of the Pillar Groups of Mallow Development Partnership pictured at their meeting in the Hibernian Hotel last week, Tricia O'Sullivan, Brendan O'Shea, Mary Kelly, Noreen Walsh, Caroline Sheehan and Tom Cronin.

Chairpersons of the Pillar Groups of Mallow Development Partnership pictured at their meeting in the Hibernian Hotel last week, Tricia O’Sullivan, Brendan O’Shea, Mary Kelly, Noreen Walsh, Caroline Sheehan and Tom Cronin.

It was all good news from the newly restructured Mallow Development Partnership last week as the organisation held its first stakeholders meeting at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow. The Partnership, which is a coming together of Mallow Development Partnership (MDP), Mallow Chamber of Commerce, Cork County Council, local businesses and a host of other local organisations,  was restructured last June and has been busy implementing a host of key priorities outlined previously.
The meeting last week was held to inform stakeholders of the progress achieved to date by the partnership, with progress reports from all six of the Pillar Groups outlined to the large attendance by Noreen Walsh, Vice Chair of the MDP. Other speakers on the night were John McDonnell, Chair of MDP, Seán Lynch, Vice President Chamber of Commerce and Cllr Dan Joe Fitzgerald, Chair of the Kanturk/Mallow Municipal Authority.
The Infrastructure Pillar outlined key priorities which included the N72 Bypass and a comprehensive town signage plan, both of which are progressing through the proper channels. In the area of retail, health and professional services, the Beacon Initiative for retailers is proposed to commence early next year with a small number of places still available on the programme. This pillar has also sourced funding for two defibrillators in the town centre with the possibility of another two for the town centre coming on stream soon.
In the area of community, tourism and heritage, the main focus of the group currently is on the newly revamped Mallow Christmas Fair which is scheduled for 12th December in Mallow Castle Grounds. The Christmas Fair is a community event and is focused on a fun family day out.  Another significant event is also being planned for Easter Monday as part of the 1916 commemorations and in conjunction with the Racing Home for Easter Festival.
The pillar representing industry and large employers reported that, following a meeting with Regional Managers in Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, a number of projects are being put in place to position Mallow for new industry and to support existing industry in the area – a welcoming forum, an engineering cluster, and a comprehensive mentoring programme are being organised
The sustainable development pillar reported progress on the designated priorities for Mallow in the framework of EU Structural Funding 2014-2020.  The projects identified are the Town Hall, the Boardwalk and the Spa House.  Progress has also been made with the submission to develop a woodland/parkland on the castle lands in the framework of the Department of Agriculture Neighbour Wood Scheme.  Work and preparation is underway to conduct a feasibility study for a Smart Travel/Greenway project for Mallow.  The study will commence in 2016.
In the area of innovation, education and new technologies, this pillar group have just hosted the highly successful Maths and Science Fair which is to be expanded upon next year. Discussions with the University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College are currently taking place for an extension of the groundbreaking Maths and Science Schools Programme.  Mallow Systems Innovation Centre, with support from Nimbus in CIT and Cork County Council, is working towards the deployment of a research-only wi-fi network covering O’Brien Street, Davis Street and Mallow Day Care Centre.
Projects launched by MDP have been and will continue to be supported by Cork County Council.  These include the Maths and Science project and Sustainable Development projects.  In addition, the Councils are proceeding with projects such as Mallow Park, Mallow Castle, Christmas lights and a new parking facility in Shortcastle Street.
Pillars are  now engaged in prioritising projects for 2016 under the Council’s Town Development Fund.
Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, is to be the keynote speaker at a Business Breakfast on Friday, 27th November at 7.30am in the Hibernian Hotel.
The Annual Christmas Fair will be held in Mallow Castle Grounds on Saturday, 12th December, from 1pm-5pm.
All these events are being coordinated by the MDP office, in conjunction with Mallow Chamber, under the direction of Catherine O’Regan, the newly appointed full time Project Coordinator in MDP.