If Naas adapts it will thrive; Leinster Leader

Leader_Article_October312017Below is the full picece published in the Leinster Leader on 31st October. The article published in the Leader was an abridged version, which can be read by expanding the image to the left.

Last February I wrote a piece for the Leader outlining the challenges facing Naas as a retail town and highlighting some of the projects that were underway to address those. Six months on some of those projects are beginning to come good and it an apt time to update on where it is all at.

Changing technology, habits and lifestyles mean people shop and live differently now than they used. With it now being possible to buy a pint of milk in a garage or order a pizza from your iPad, people no longer need to “go up the street” on a daily basis. This challenge faces many towns around Ireland and at a recent meeting I held with Retail Excellence Ireland shopping habits were summed up succinctly as “midweek convenience, weekend experience”. In other words that people will shop online or in bulk midweek but want to enjoy leisure and recreation at weekends. Continue Reading →

Receiver for Naas Town Centre

unnamedA receiver has been appointed for Naas Town Centre. This appointment comes after years  of uncertainty on the town centre site. I have been championing this project for some time and have held a series of meetings with NAMA, Kildare County Council, the former owners and a number of other stakeholders to advance the project. The appointment of a receiver is a significant step and this will allow the project to proceed to sale. The appointment of this receiver was essentially the final hurdle in allowing a sale of the project to take place. Continue Reading →

Shop Front & Town Centre Improvement Grant Scheme Open

Naas living over the shop James LawlessI am delighted to welcome the council’s Shop Front & Town Centre Improvement Grant Scheme which will be rolled out now in 2016. The purpose of this simple yet innovative scheme is to improve the appearance of shop fronts and other retail and commercial properties in our towns around Co. Kildare. As we’re all well aware, town centre businesses have faced huge pressures in recent years to stay open. With more attractive town centres, we can help encourage business back in to our towns. This scheme is a welcome step towards this objective. The scheme is open to all existing businesses in towns throughout Co. Kildare.
Continue Reading →

Good News for Naas – Superquinn Site Sold with Proposed Redevelopment

superquinn naas james lawlessYesterday saw great news for Naas as I learned the Superquinn site in the centre of the town has found a buyer and will be redeveloped. At this stage I have no details of who the new owner is yet but let’s hope it’s a quality retailer or equivalent business that will drive a new focus on bringing life back in to the centre of the town. As mayor and councillor for the area, my door will certainly be open to them to do all I can to help them progress. It will inject some stimulus back into the town and may also put pressure on NAMA to finally act on the other beleaguered shopping centre site.