€48m plan to transform Ennis and Clare economy revealed

Ennis 2040 Developments will create more than 200 long-term jobs and result in €3.5m annually of new economic activity in the Clare economy.

Details of an ambitious plan to transform the Clare economy beginning in Ennis have been revealed.

Ennis 2040 DAC, in collaboration with Clare County Council, has released details of an Economic Impact Assessment that sheds light on the transformative potential of a proposed €48m investment in four strategic town centre sites.

“The findings reaffirm the vision set out in the Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy and the positive impact these developments will have on our community and county”

The four identified sites—Abbey Street Car Park, Harvey’s Quay, Post Office Field, and a brownfield site on Francis Street—serve as key components in the delivery of the first phase of the Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy.

Energising Ennis

The economic impact analysis, undertaken by AECOM, highlights the impact that the development of these sites would have on the economy of Ennis and Co Clare and recognises their potential to enhance Ennis’ commercial, retail, residential, and amenity offerings.

“The insights provided by AECOM, as independent experts, recognise that these developments will introduce transformative changes to the town of Ennis,” said Pat Dowling, CEO of Clare County Council.

“While acknowledging that adjustments may be necessary, the overall benefits are poised to outweigh these challenges. The findings reaffirm the vision set out in the Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy and the positive impact these developments will have on our community and county.”

The construction phase is projected to create 526 short term jobs, providing a substantial and immediate boost to the local job market.  Beyond construction, the completed projects are expected to generate over 200 long term jobs, contributing an additional €3.5m annually to the Clare economy. 

The proposed developments also have the potential to deliver 79 homes catering for almost 300 people, addressing critical housing needs, and promoting town centre living, thereby increasing the footfall in Ennis town centre.

“The assessment employed a robust and well-established methodology and associated modelling process to gauge the positive effects of the projected €48m investment on jobs and the local economy,” said Dr Catherine Murray, chief economist and director with AECOM.

“The projects link with other great initiatives in the town proving Ennis is not afraid to make the changes needed to position itself for a bright future. Given the population projections for Ennis, we have no doubt that this proactive planning for the future will be a model for other large towns to follow.”

In addition to the economic benefits, the report recognised the wide-ranging benefits of creating attractive public realm and amenities that will enhance the well-being of the community and the environment.

“This report underscores the research already undertaken during the development of the Ennis 2040 Economic & Spatial Strategy,” said Carmel Kirbey, director of Economic Development, Clare County Council.

“It demonstrates how the proposed investment in these sites not only supports economic growth but also the broader well-being of the community and the environment with the development of Post Office Field, the river boardwalks and enhanced public realm. We look forward to working with Ennis 2040 DAC to ensure these projects are delivered and the benefits realised.” 

Main image at top: Carmel Kirby and Pat Dowling, Clare County Council, with Kevin Corrigan, Ennis 2040 DAC

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.