Switcher.ie has revealed the best places to live in Ireland if you are a tech lover.
Following on from the governments recently announcement about its Rural Development Policy, they've looked into the current best places to live for tech lovers in Ireland.
Ballinasloe has taken fourth place in our study as the best place to live as a tech lover in Ireland. The town offers great access to electric chargers, cheap housing and a pretty good chance of having a 5G connection.
Dunlo Hill On Track For New Housing
Dooley’s Bar and Grocery has been a prominent focal point pivoting the top of Dunlo St and Dunlo Hill where the row of Estate workers cottages ends at the junction to Aonach behind the mount.
This 1.8 acre site has been acquired by Galway County Council to develop into 19 residential Units to ease accomodation wating lists.
Councillors have been briefed by the -house consultants on final design, layout, look and feel of the new development as final plans are being drawn up for the Part 8 planning process due to commence over the summer months.
Cllr Dermot Connolly (SF) stated: “The design and architectural reports are still being looked at and I believe at the next municipal meeting there will be a final update and sign off on that. We have put our input into the design and have specified that the new units must maintain the familiar Georgian look of the town, resembling the 19th century style of the town centre and ensuring it keeps a traditional provincial town look.”
This development is anticipated to have 19 housing units , all council owned and managed with no voluntary housing co – operative involved or private sales. Priority for the new housing units will be given to those who struggle with mobility particularly those who are elderly, as the Dunlo Hill setting will provide easy and safe access to the town centre for residents.
Councillor Connolly added: “In the Ballinasloe Municipal District alone I would not be too far off in saying that there would be over 600 people on the waiting list for housing. Every day we are getting phone calls, emails, letters of enquiries from those on the housing list and their representative’s asking about when they will receive the suitable housing they need .”
“While there is no official timescale to the project. The Council is fully overseeing the project and they are looking at every method to ensure that this project is completed as efficiently, as cost effective and as quickly as possible. Once the designs come in and are approved we can move to give a proper timescale but I would be severely disappointed if there has not been significant works completed in the next 16 months.” concluded Cllr Connolly.
Surmodics, a leading medical device company based in the IDA Business Park , Ballinasloe, has recently received the "Zero Project Earth Day Award 2021" based on their sustainability journey with The City Bin Co.
Surmodics identified the need to increase recycling rates and their sustainability efforts, whilst reducing costs, and therefore kickstarted The Zero Project.
Prior to February of this year, the firm were using a number of 1100 litre bins for both general waste and recycling. The bins were many different colours and therefore caused confusion in terms of waste segregation, which resulted in low recycling rates. The site was producing enormous amounts of grass, which was being tended to by a tractor lawn mower, resulting in high carbon emissions.
Since February 2021, Surmodics kickstarted their sustainability journey with "The Zero Project" - the company's efforts been led by Conor Forde, Senior Facilities Engineer. The City Bin Co. installed Front End Loader (FEL) bins onsite. The type of waste generated by the plant is dry industrial and therefore a good fit for the FEL bins. The waste is removed and transported to a recycling depot where it is sorted and either reused or recycled, helping the company divert waste from landfill.
The team on the project replaced outdoor and indoor fluorescent lights with LED lights, resulting in a total carbon saving of 25.5 tonnes, and there is no longer any fluorescent gas or lamps waste to dispose of. They also introduced light sensors that control 95% of Surmodics’ lights, ensuring lights automatically switch off during quieter times, saving energy.
Surmodics have started working towards a paperless business by introducing an e-signatures, thereby creating a paperless accounts payment system. The firm has provided keep cups and re-usable water bottles for their employees, cutting down on unneeded waste.
An electric robot lawnmower, the Mobot, which does not waste grass and does not require fuel to cut the grass , was acquired In March - resulting in carbon savings of 0.6 tonnes for the site. Recently the City Bin Co. carried out a waste audit onsite and put a plan together to ensure segregation of waste.
For the remainder of 2021, Surmodics sustainability plan is to ensure that the Zero Project standard is maintained across the site. Environmental training and awareness initiatives for employees is key to implementing sustainability in the workplace and an important element to this is generating environmental ideas from colleagues in order to continue the Surmodics journey to sustainability.
Height of Health now has a new base on Dunlo Street (where Chris Daly’s Shoe store was) and are providing a wide dedicated range of natural vitamins and minerals, skin and haircare products, joint care, herbal teas, coffees, incenses, essential oils and much more. The store is open Monday to Saturday 10:00 -18:00 and aims to provide all health-related products.
The store is a partnership between local Kiltormer man Liam Salmon and Clare native Fergal McNamara. However, it is very much a family run business with Fergal’s wife Helen and daughter Sinead, both very much involved while Liam’s daughter Aileen is also a member of the team working in the store. Rounding off the team at Height of Health is Killimor born Nutritional Therapist - Anne Quirke. This is the third Height of Health store for Fergal who also runs a store in Ennis and one in Dundalk, where Aileen worked part-time while studying at Dundalk Institute of Technology. The McNamara family are also the team behind Ennis Health Store, with two successful stores operating in the Clare town for many years. The store has set out to cater to the needs of all ages in the locality.
The staff are well trained with extensive knowledge in the area of nutrition and years of experience working in health stores. They are well placed to guide you through all of the top name brands in natural health. In the nutritional supplement side, the store stocks top brands Macánta, Solgar, Mag365, and more. The store also has a wide range of natural and organic skincare. Eco-friendly cleaning products, herbal teas, gluten free foods, foods suitable for diabetics and a wide range of organic and whole foods can also be found.
Therapist Anne states: “The store has a wide range of health products; we hope that in the next few months we can invite people to come and explore the products that we have on display and if there is something in particular HEIGHT OF HEALTH OPENS that they are looking for that we will try our best to source it for them”. The Salmon name is synonymous with the community and Liam Salmon, cousin of Dermot (Main St, Department store) does not want to bring down the name: “A very important goal is customer relations. We wish in our next few months of operation that we can build up a strong customer base, provide healthy competition to other outlets and have high customer satisfaction rates gaining regulars that we can continue to proudly serve.” Liam exclaimed.
Height of Health provides another health space in the town that people can come and explore. Liam commented: “Ballinasloe has a great market for a dedicated health store, the town has other similar outlets but our store will be focusing solely on health-based products with an array of products that our customers can choose from.”
f you’d like to phone in an order for collection, simply give the shop a call on 087 4364344 or email them. Their opening offer is continuing right now too, which means that anyone who spends over €30 in the store will receive a free Macánta D3 product.
Development Company Reviews 21st Year Of Progress
The Board of Voluntary Directors, led by Chairman Seamus Duffy and Manager Lyn Donnelly and members of the company reviewed progress on their 21st year of activities by way of ZOOM last month.
Opening the meeting the Chair reminded those in attendance of the formation of BACD and it’s rationale again in encouraging job creation, enterprise and attracting investment and he thanked Manager Lyn, his co directors, and the different members of the working groups for their commitment, dedication and efforts to delivering a can do message in one of the most challenging of years in the Charitable Company’s short history.
In a wide ranging address Seamus reviewed some key issues as he saw them for the town, the community and agencies that are currently operating here.
He praised and thanked the longstanding funders – GRD Leader, the Dept of Business and Enterprise, The Dept of Rural and Community Affairs, Galway County Council and the new very welcome funder – the Just Transition Fund.
He also expressed huge thanks to the resilient business community who despite the big dig disruption and pandemic shut downs ; showed their support for the community efforts with their LIFE Magazine Advertising and their huge support for the New Xmas Lights Campaign.
“Tonight I also want to commend the work and generosity of one of founding partners – the Credit Union who since day one have been very supportive of all of our project needs and this year sponsored a significant sum towards the cost of the illuminations”.
Seamus detailed the nearly €60 million of current and anticipated State spending due into our community across some 6 Government Departments that he and the Board strongly believes needs a better degree of co – ordination or oversight to get maximum return for the tax payer funding but also for our town.
He explained that the Company had made a detailed submission to the new draft County Plan and in their own 10 year plan for the town would be seeking that an Interagency Task Force or Co – ordinating Group be charged with the monitoring of projects and delivery of elements of the spend and schemes that ought to be complimentary to each other.
“ We have a number of project groups examining short, medium and longterm objectives across three pillars and we will collate priority actions into a simple final plan to be launched we hope with agency and Government buy-in from September”, stated Seamus.
Manager Lyn Donnelly gave a very detailed presentation on the key elements that the Company worked on in the year under review. Her first point was between all the different project groups, there are now almost 200 volunteers giving significant hours towards the work of the company – “whether it is driving and delivering Magazines, preparing the Sustainable Town Applications or erecting and fundraising for the Xmas Lights – it’s hugely positive to working among so many positive community people” states Lyn.
The Enterprise Centre managed to remain at practical maximum occupancy for all of the year – with some 29 firms operating out of the old hospital building employing in total some 190 people.
The Pulse Club has remained active and is a key peer network for the younger entrepreneurs in the locality – using the lockdown for zoom seminar and sessions. Ballinasloe GROW REMOTE Club co – ordinated by Renate Kohlmann, saw a spike in numbers working remotely from home and lot of the research and support work they have done provided the underpinning of the Bank Chambers project.
The Ballinasloe Life Magazine continued to be published even in the height of the lockdown and did not charge the advertisers for the two editions involved . They increased the print run to 7000 copies per editions which means that 42,0000 magazines are printed and distributed annually. It achieved it’s milestone decade of publishing and looking back managed to retain over €500,000 of marketing and advertising spend locally. She thanked the Editorial and delivery team and advised the meeting that the viability and investing in the online look of the Magazine platform would have to prioritised over the coming months .She also warmly thanked Sinead Colleran our Website Co – Ordinator for the work she continues to undertake on Ballinasloe.ie.
She paid tribute the people on the Town Team under the stewardship of Anita Killeen who have ongoing projects like te Town Enhancement , the Sustainable Energy Town, The Business Networking Comedy Garden and of course the outstanding Christmas Lights Campaign – which gave everyone in the town a huge morale lift.
The Shop Local Online and Voucher Scheme launched in the summer of the Pandemic was a huge success and contributed in so many small outlets getting a trading bounce from the Xmas Retail season – with many local firms using them as Staff gifts.
She detailed the current funded projects in some detail and the route map for the company to keep all in motion to draw down maximum grant aid.
Auditor James Coyle of Coyle and Co gave a detailed audit presentation of the financial results showing certified income at €259,460 and Expenditure at €228,226 .Coyle and Co. were re- appointed Auditors.
The Chair and Manager detailed the priority actions for the current year ahead – Bank Chambers , Society St., Maintaining strong occupancy for the BEC, Finalising the delivery of the Shopfront Scheme, Finalising and Launching the 10 year Plan, Commissioning the Tourism and Heritage Feasibility Study, Establishing the Task Force, Resourcing the Town Team and it’s projects , Xmas Illuminations 2021 and attracting new investors to the locality.
The Directors for the next 12 months are Seamus Kelly (Credit Union), Dan Dowling (Creagh Community Development Council), Micheal Connolly (Galway County Council), Seamus Duffy (Membership), Valerie Dolan (Membership), Anita Killeen (Membership), Joe Lyons (Membership), Kevin Broderick (Membership), Pearse Keller (Membership), Marina Downey (Membership), Noel Madden (Co-opted), John McKenna (Co-opted), Brian King (Co-opted) Eoghan Kenny (Co-opted)
ShopBallinasloe.ie has been named winner of the Large Town category at the inaugural .IE Digital Town Awards.
ShopBallinasloe.ie has been named winner of the Large Town category at the inaugural .IE Digital Town Awards.
The result was announced on the 10th June, at a virtual ceremony attended by Minister Damien English, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
The .IE Digital Town Awards launched earlier this year by .IE and promotes awareness, knowledge and highlights the benefits and possibilities of digital and celebrates the digital achievements of local towns, big and small.
ShopBallinasloe.ie is a joint initiative between local businesses marketing agency Araya Business Support Services (Honoria Mitchell Black, Niamh Creaven Connaughton) and Kickstart Web Design (Joe Glennon, David Ansley).
Launched back in April 2020, ShopBallinasloe.ie was established to enable shoppers to connect with and purchase from their favourite local businesses in Ballinasloe. At the time, many doors were closed, and there were uncertain times ahead for many local businesses. In November 2020, the business expanded adding the Town Voucher just in time for Christmas. These vouchers have proved extremely popular with over €60,000 worth of vouchers purchased worldwide - making them the perfect gift for any occasion or ideal prizes for Raffles, Draws, Golf Classics and Table Quiz’s.
The team at ShopBallinasloe stated “the success would not have been possible without the outstanding team and collaborative efforts of many who has helped along the way; local businesses who embraced digital technology, online shoppers, local community, BACD, Ballinasloe Credit Union, Galway County Council. From the outset, we have received huge support from local groups and businesses and we’d like to praise the businesses who embraced our digital technology from the start. We would also like to congratulate the other winners and runner up who did tremendous work presenting other innovative digital initiatives for their town and community”.
.IE Corporate communications Manager Oonagh McCutchteon said, “The .IE Digital Town Awards want to recognise the good work and achievements of towns across Ireland who have utilised digital technologies to create new ways of doing things, promote innovation and to breathe new life into local communities.”
For more information on the Awards click here
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