The National Enterprise Town Awards: Sligo

We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at Sligo town.

Sligo is a vibrant urban hub nestled between the picturesque heights of Benbulben, and the rugged coastline of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Strategically located midway between Galway and Derry, county Sligo s population stands at 65,535 (CSO 2016), of which around 25,000 are within the town and its environs.

Recognising Sligo’s potential for further development, it has been designated a Regional Growth Centre in the National Planning Framework. It serves as an administrative, employment, commercial, health and education centre for a wide hinterland, expanding to an estimated day time population of circa 40,000.

With over 3,000 active enterprises, 93pc of which are micro-enterprises, Sligo boasts an exceptionally supportive network for established and start-up businesses, through the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Sligo Business Improvement District, The Sligo Chamber of Commerce, Local Enterprise Office and Sligo Economic Forum.

Responding to many of the challenges presented to towns and cities along the western sea board, the Sligo Economic Forum was established with an ambition to position and promote Sligo as a world-class location in which to live, invest and visit.

The Forum comprises of representation from public and private sector stakeholders, working in collaboration in the interest of Sligo.

Features of the collaboration include:

  • Close co-operation between enterprise development agencies and the local authority to advance job creation and develop Sligo as a smart city location.
  • Third-level sector offering a diverse range of courses to a combined student population of 7,000.
  • Strategy to develop a 1Gbps City to be used as a test bed by the third-level sector for development of apps and devices for the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Compact and attractive historic streetscapes bisected by the Garavogue River and linked to attractive urban parklands.
  • Working with Sligo Business Improvement District to achieve Purple Flag status for excellence in the night-time economy.

Written by John Kennedy (

Published: 22 August, 2019