The National Enterprise Town Awards: Mitchelstown

We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at Mitchelstown in Co Cork.

Mitchelstown is a vibrant North Cork market town situated 50km north of Cork City, at the foothills of the Galtee mountains, in the heart of The Golden Vale. It is known nationally and internationally as the home of good food.

The town is the gateway to Munster as it adjoins the Cork-Dublin M8 motorway and is well served by the N73 and other networks. The population in the town stands at 3,740 according to the 2016 census with a wide variety of mixed cultures. Mitchelstown has recently been designated an Age Friendly Town, future proofing the town for young and old alike.

The town evolved as a hodgepodge of cabins and lane-ways beside Mitchelstown Castle. Evidence would suggest that the castle was built first and that the village and town came later, probably in late 13th or early 14th centuries.

Mitchelstown is today regarded as one of the best planned Georgian towns in Ireland. Some of its streets are named after members of the King family, namely Robert, George, Edward, James, Thomas and King (the family name).

Primary economic activity is based in the agri-food industry with Dairygold, Hodgins Sausages, Horgans Deli, Kerrygold and 8Degrees Brewery all well-known local producers. The weekly market continues to take place in Mitchelstown, a tradition running since the 13th century. All these enterprises are supported by the Mitchelstown Business Association which promotes local business and organises events to help promote local shopping.

The town has more than 50 voluntary organisations, ranging from the arts, sports and many more. The Mitchelstown Leisure Centre, Enterprise Centre and Saint George’s Arts and Heritage Centre are important examples of local initiatives looking to improve the economic and social aspects of the area.

Through the umbrella organisation; The Mitchelstown Forum, a body which coordinates the strategic vision for Mitchelstown, a series of public meetings were held from February to May 2019, where voluntary organisations, the local Llader body – Ballyhoura Development CLG, the Community Council and Mitchelstown Business Association worked together to develop the next socio-economic plan for Mitchelstown. This plan using statistics and data taken from the 2016 census will drive the future development and direction of the town.

The next ten years will see Mitchelstown direct its focus on improving the living standards in the area, incentivising new business enterprises and seeking to harness its rich heritage, culture and natural beauty to put Mitchelstown firmly on the tourism trail.

Written by Stephen Larkin

Published: 27 August, 2019