Pat McCormick, incoming President, and Paddy Malone PRO Dundalk Chamber, met with the Board of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade on Tuesday last. The purpose of the meeting was to brief Newry on the 2040 Development Plan and its potential for the region.
Paddy explained that the Plan had been radically altered by the inclusion of the M1 corridor as THE major growth area in the Midland East Region. (Dublin and surrounding counties) The area from Drogheda to Dundalk would not have restrictions on growth as will apply in the rest of the region. Therefore we are ranked alongside the cities (SEE MAP).The principal point to note was that the plan now saw the M1 corridor as extending into Newry. Planning would not now be up to the Border but would recognise and work with the Local Authorities in the North and specifically Newry Mourne and Down.
Mary Mooney CEO of Newry Chamber expressed their thanks to Dundalk in including Newry in their submission. We emphasised the fact that the only submissions made from Louth that covered the whole county were Louth CC and Dundalk Chamber. We had gone further in including Newry.
It was agreed to establish a joint working party to develop recommendations on a project by project basis. Newry Chamber is also going to ask their Local Authority to seek observer status at the Regional Assembly. Pat and Paddy both emphasised that while we were at the top table we would have to fight for our fair share.
During the general discussion a number of specific projects were identified and it was agreed that we would meet again shortly. Major concerns were expressed over BREXIT and the hard border.
Pat McCormick explained the advantages the region has as a whole. Newry were particularly interested in what he had to say about DkIT, where Pat works.
We in Dundalk are also working with Drogheda and it is hoped that all three will work together for the sake of the region.