National Enterprise Town Awards: Tuam

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

Tuam is the largest town in County Galway (population 8,767) and has beenidentified as one of eight “key towns” under the National Planning Framework/RSES.

Tuam has a prestigious history. It was founded in the 6th century by St Jarlath. In 1049, Hugh O Connor made the town a royal capital. In 1118, Turlough O Connor, King of Connaught, became High King of Ireland making Tuam the capital of Ireland.

During the 1600s, King James I granted a Charter to the town outlining a specific civic layout which had the main routes converging on the market square. This form remains today and sets the basic layout of radial settlement pattern of the town.

The recent opening of the M17 motorway has directly connected Tuam with Limerick, Shannon and Dublin.

Tuam has benefitted from key infrastructural upgrades with the Tuam Water Distribution and Main Drainage project, an investment of €28m including ducting for the gas pipeline and high-speed broadband network, both operational as of 2019.
This transformation of Tuam shows a town primed with capacity and opportunities for people to work and live locally, supporting the Atlantic Economic Corridor s drive towards a low carbon, high value economy as an enterprising hub ideally located to serve and collaborate with the significant growth areas of Galway, Sligo and Athlone.

Key local business infrastructure includes Beechtree Business Park while major employers include Valeo and Steeltech. Local initiatives include a Men’s Shed, the Three Rings Festival, Tuam Market, Tuam Tidy Towns as well as the hiring of an enterprise development manager under Action Tuam and a business survey to understand the needs of businesses in the town.

Other initiatives include Galway LEO 1:1 workshops, a business seminar for over 80 business, a business plan development for start-ups and St Jarlath’s Credit Union school banks.

Main image: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 4.0  

Published by John Kennedy (

Published: 27 September, 2019