Monaghan business and community leaders fight back against recession

7 October 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Pictured at the launch of the County Economic Strategy are Adge King, Jackie Crowe, Pauric Warren, Declan Nelson and Dympna Condra. © Northern Standard.

“An innovative strategy which will seek to drive the economy of the county in the short to medium term” was presented to the members of Monaghan County Council at their October meeting on Monday.
Prepared by the Co Monaghan Development Board in active consultation and participation by heads of business and community activists, the new report was described by consultant Padraig Warren as a broad-based approach to economic recovery that placed emphasis on stimulating growth in the areas of business, education and training, infrastructure and employment.
The ‘Economic Strategy & Implementation Plan’ will be “an important document for the economic development of the county”, Co Manager Declan Nelson predicted.
Co Council members formally received the document but deferred debate on its contents until a meeting later this month.
Outlining the circumstances that led to the genesis of the strategy, Co Council Director of Services Adge King recalled that, at the end of 2008, a national review of the work of Co Development Boards had taken place.
“In recent times the economic environment in the county has changed substantially, and Co Development Boards have been asked to give significant priority to economic development,” Mr King stated.
Arising out of this directive, the Co Monaghan Board had set up an economic working group at the end of 2009.  The members decided that they needed to develop a new strategy for development over the next four-five years, one that would be relevant to Co Monaghan and the particular economic environment in which the county found itself.
It was important that the strategy would be “realistic and deliverable”, Mr King stated.  They were encouraged to involve all stakeholders, and a major effort was made in this regard.  Together they had looked at many approaches as to how development could be undertaken in the county.
In his presentation to the meeting, Padraig Warren of Chinnok Consulting described the new strategy as “a work in progress” which had already taken a number of important steps towards implementation.
“The economic climate is constantly changing, and is going to be changing into the future, and we have tried to establish a document that allows for these constant changes,” he told the Council members.
To this end the strategy had implemented the technique of ‘scenario planning’, looking at a number of possible economic outcomes and planning accordingly for each of them.
They had sought and secured relevant input from each of the four driving perspectives of business, education and training, infrastructure and employment and as a consequence what was identified in the report was “what the stakeholders actually want.”
The Manager expressed appreciation to every one who took part in the development of the strategy.  Business leaders in the county had not only taken part in the initial stages of preparation but had committed to the objectives outlined in the plan.
“We do not want a report that just remains gathering dust on a shelf,” Mr Nelson remarked, noting that a number of businesspeople who had not even met before had through their involvement in the strategy ended up doing business together.
The Manager paid tribute to the senior businesspeople in the county who had contributed voluntarily of their own time to bring the strategy about and who were committed to implementing its objectives in the years ahead.

Full story in the Northern Standard

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