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Recovery plan fails to set out a clear strategy for city recovery

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By Chamber Press Office, 01 June 2021

Business group Dublin Chamber has offered a qualified welcome for the Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan announced this afternoon, arguing that businesses are still waiting for a clear plan for Ireland’s cities.

Dublin Chamber Director of Public & International Affairs Aebhric Mc Gibney said: “The Recovery Plan includes some very welcome assurances on the extension of key Covid supports for businesses and employees who continue to be impacted by the pandemic. This comes as a relief to many. But we are concerned about the lack of clarity around how Ireland’s cities will recover from Covid. Urban Ireland has been particularly badly hit by the pandemic due to a collapse in footfall and closure of businesses, but there are scarce details of how it will be supported in the coming months. It is vital that the Government’s promise to transform Irish cities and large towns is backed up with action and real funding.”

Dublin Chamber recently wrote to Taoiseach Micheál Martin calling for an urgently needed action plan to support our cities as they struggle to cope with the significant changes wrought by the Covid-19 crisis.  

Aebhric Mc Gibney continued: “The unique and unprecedented challenges facing cities must be at the heart of the Government’s strategy for economic recovery. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated existing trends in our cities, particularly in the areas of remote working and the digital agenda. These changes raise profound questions about the future of Ireland’s cities and the long-term viability of many of the jobs and businesses they support.” 

“The Recovery Plan claims to focus on the future economy, but the Government’s policy response so far has failed to place as much focus on the urban recovery as on rural areas. Urban recovery needs to be a national priority, which cannot be simply left to local authorities with limited means and resources. Failure to properly plan and support the recovery of urban Ireland risks a devasting impact not only on our city centres but also on the broader city regions and rural hinterlands which they support. The Government’s plan promises to bring forward further measures to support the recovery of city centres and we hope to see these very soon.”

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