Launch - Roscrea Town Enhancement Plan
The Heritage Council has chosen Roscrea, among only a handful of Irish towns to put in place a public realm plan or the 'Roscrea Town Enhancement Plan'. Alison Harvey, Planning Officer with the Heritage Council gave a definition of 'Public Realm' at the launch of the Plan:
"Public Realm refers to publicly-owned streets, sidewalks, rights-of-ways, parks and other publicly accessible open spaces, and public and civic buildings and facilities''.
Alison Harvey's presentation invited the audience to consider how in business and even in general community-morale terms, a Town-Centre's sense-of-place and its capacity to 'market' itself (to itself and to visitors), is boosted by its 'USP', its Unique Selling Point, i.e. the characteristic which make it different. This is especially so when the differences relate to an attractive built environment based on history, heritage and tradition. Roscrea Town Centre is rich in this regard. Roscrea has a magnificent Castle Complex, and Round Tower which have yet to be maximised to their full potential. The historic town centre is characterised by owner-occupied and owner-managed small-scale shops many of which have traditional wooden shop fronts. Rosemary Square in particular is beautiful and throughout the town it is clearly evident that Roscrea has a very active tidy towns committee. Alison outlined the importance of Town Centre Management Strategies and described what makes a town centre vibrant and successful. Her presentation was certainly well received and helped provoke a lot conversation which was rich with ideas for improvements.