Kells Prepares for the Bigger Picture Conference
A free conference on what it would take to develop and regenerate Kells as a major trading and heritage centre will take place in the town on Thursday May 28th.
Titled “Kells - The Bigger Picture," the event will hear presentations from a number of key experts in the area of urban planning.
“The objective of this event is simple. We want to maximise visitor numbers to Kells, sell its famous historical name to a wider audience while simultaneously increasing retail spend in the area and strive towards a beneficial re-generation programme for all in the locality,” said Kells Local Heroes Chairman Ken Murray.
“We have been working on this event for some months and feel we can learn a lot from the experts in the field,” Ken said.
The key speakers at the event will be Jill Chadwick, Conservation officer with Meath County Council, whose address will focus on developing the streetscape of the Town.
Joining Jill on the platform will be Simon Wall, who is the town architect in Westport in County Mayo.
In 2012, Westport was voted as ‘The best place to live in Ireland’, inspiring committees in numerous urban centres around the Country to study what makes the town popular to work and live in.
According to Ken, “so much can be learned from the Westport experience. It is now a magnet for tourists. It continues to retain its heritage look and it enjoys strong retail spend during the summer months.
“The team in Mayo are obviously doing something right and there is no reason why Kells can’t be the Westport of north Leinster over the coming years.”
The final speaker on the night will be former Minister of State Ciaran Cuffe, who is one of the Country’s leading experts on urban planning and re-generation.
The former Green Party TD, who lectures on urban development at Bolton Street College in Dublin, will visit Kells in the coming days to assess its street layout, historical architecture and commercial activity.
Organised in association with Meath County Council and Kells Chamber of Commerce, the Conference will be chaired by RTÉ Radio Presenter, historian and local resident Myles Dungan.
The conference will take place from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday May 28th in the Church of Ireland, adjacent to Church Lane. Admission is free of charge and members of the public, retail traders and professionals from County Meath and beyond are invited to attend.
Here are details about the new 15 Minute Free Parking Period in Kells.
There are 2 possible scenarios. In each case, the driver is entitled to 15 free minutes.
(1) Someone intending to stay LONGER than 15 minutes – they ARE required to pay for a ticket. The parking meters are calibrated to add 15 free minutes to whatever period they pay for. The minimum charge is 20c.
(2) Someone intending to stay for 15 minutes or less – they ARE NOT required to pay for or display a ticket during that 15 minutes. The warden has been instructed that when he finds a vehicle without a valid ticket he is to note the registration number and the time and that he is not to take any action against the vehicle for a minimum of 15 minutes after that. If he returns after 15 minutes and the vehicle is still there and still does not have a valid ticket, then he is to proceed and issue a fine.
A Good News Story for Kells - from IDA Ireland:
MDS Global Technologies and SWG Inc. have this week officially opened their international headquarters in Kells, Meath, creating a total of 50 jobs. The announcement was made as part of Meath Enterprise Week 2014.
The companies were introduced to Ireland through the combined efforts of Connect Ireland - the company responsible for delivering the Government’s Succeed in Ireland initiative, in association with IDA Ireland, and SmartInvest, a transatlantic accelerator fund for high potential technology companies. Both companies will begin recruitment immediately for their operations at Kells Enterprise Technology Centre and hope to fill the 50 positions over the coming three years.
Speaking at the opening of both offices in Kells on Wednesday, Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English, T.D. said “The establishment of these two companies in Kells builds on the investment announced by Mafic last year, another Connect Ireland project that is being supported by IDA Ireland. This is a great example of how Government initiatives, private investors and local communities can all work together to win valuable new jobs for Ireland and, critically, for towns like Kells. In particular, this reinforces the great enterprise relationship between Ireland and the US. The inclusion of Kells in the new national Regional Aid Map will further enhance the prospects of attracting new investment and the expansion of existing enterprises both foreign and indigenous”.
MDS is a US-based technology company that manufactures equipment to enable IP traffic over existing coaxial cable to the MDU and hospitality space. Formed in 2013, MDS is expanding in the North American and European markets. The Kells operation will manufacture IP equipment, as well as heading up the global sales, technical support, administrative and financial divisions of the company. The company has already attracted significant interest in their product and hope to fill 15 of their 25 positions in the first 12 months. They are now looking for experienced professionals to fill engineering, logistical, sales and general office positions.
Jim Luciano, MD of MDS, said: “Key for me in choosing a location was that when we were looking, Ireland had the most interest in what we were trying to do. Secondly, resources. Ireland has really good resources and also to me, it’s been pretty easy. People have been really receptive to what we’ve planned and what our vision is. Everyone has embraced what we’re trying to do.”
“We do a lot of business in Europe and Asia and an operation out of Ireland made sense. Meath seemed like a good landing spot for the business. With our product, there is really nice potential to grow and Kells will be able to accommodate that growth,” added Jim.
SWG Inc. buys, sells and repairs wireless and network equipment and will locate its first operation outside of the U.S. at Kells Enterprise Centre. The Meath location will house an extensive R&D team as well as repurposing equipment, and the company are currently looking to recruit for a number of technical roles, growing to a total of 25 employees over three years.
Greg Kopa, Co-Founder of SWG Inc. said: “We know we can build a business in Ireland and know we can grow from a solid base and branch out. The location is very easily accessible. The Kells Enterprise Centre is outside of Dublin, already set up for high tech companies with fibre optics, and it’s a nice area. The people have all been very positive.”
“The other thing about Ireland is that there is a very strong technical base. There is a good labour pool to draw from - Ireland has a good technical background,” added Greg.
Michael McLoughlin CEO of ConnectIreland commented: “ConnectIreland is delighted to have worked with SWG and MDS in order to help them expand their operations overseas. It is a great credit to the people of Meath that yet more international companies have chosen to locate in the region. Through the power of one local connector 50 jobs will be created in Kells. A simple conversation is all it takes to make a difference and we hope to have more great news for Meath in the coming months.”
Gerry Moan Founder and CEO of SmartInvest commented: “We have worked closely with both MDS and SWG in facilitating their location and set-up here in Ireland, and specifically Kells. As an all-island accelerator programme we believe that the island of Ireland as a whole offers unique opportunities to high potential technology companies looking for a European landing pad.“
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland said: “Ireland is now the fastest growing economy in Europe and US corporations are picking Ireland as the location of choice for their global operations. In fact, nine of the top ten US technology companies are already located in Ireland, so both SWG and MDS will have excellent company here. Ireland is a strong exporting nation, with particularly robust performances in sectors like ICT, med tech and pharma. IDA has worked closely with Connect Ireland in winning this type of investment and will continue to do so.”
Read full article here.
The heritage town of Kells is a wonderful place to work, live or visit. Its rich Monastic legacy makes it quite unique and it is part of the 'Boyne Valley Region' - one of the Top 10 Destinations in Ireland, as marketed by Fáilte Ireland abroad. It boasts two world-class golf courses in Headfort Golf Club, alongside the imposing Headfort House and the Blackwater River. We are an outstanding location for business and we have a state of the art Business Park with broadband and Bord Gais pipeline. Kells is an excellent location for tourists: we are only 45 minutes from Dublin and offer a great central base for touring County Meath. Need more convincing? Here are some more good reasons to choose Kells as a place to live, work or visit.