Tullamore Town Park
Over the last number of weeks we have run several stories about planned developments in Tullamore on the Offaly Express webiste.
Whether those stories have been about a new convenience store in the centre of the town or a planned second store for Lidl, there has been a consistent clamour for more in the comments section on our Facebook page
Tullamore is far from the worst town in the country. It has plenty going for it. In recent years it has gotten new schools, a hospital, skate park and a hugely important by pass among other things. It is also the cleanest town in Ireland.
But with your comments as the jumping off point, we decided to put our heads together and come up with a list of ten things we think could help improve the town and help it to make an even bigger impression on the map. Some are practical, some are aspirational and we'll freely admit that some are a bit out there.........
Have a read and see what you think and if you have other ideas, scroll back up once you've finished and click here to go to our Facebook page to leave your comments and suggestions.
1 – A new Shopping Centre - No disrespect to the Bridge Centre but Tullamore needs at least one new, modern and much bigger shopping centre with nationally known anchor tenants. Did I hear you say Penneys? Portlaoise, Mullingar and Athlone are far, far, far more attractive shopping destinations than Tullamore. That hurts all the businesses in the town
2 – Road resurfacing - The road from the top of High Street to the Kilbeggan Bridge is simply a disgrace in a town the size of Tullamore.... and it's not the only one.
3 – More bridges across the river - Getting around Tullamore involves a lot of going around and around and around in circles. Imagine how much easier it would be if there were pedestrian bridges from the Tanyard to Church Street, Main Street to the Bridge Center and even from Patrick Street to the Bridge Centre.
4 – The proposed Lidl development to get Planning Permission – It's no so much to have a second Lidl that the town needs (although it wouldn't be a bad thing) but that area of the town could badly do with regeneration. Also the traffic system where the Tanyard meets the New Road/Church Road roundabout is nothing less than a shambles. It would also potentially sort that out. You can see what the proposed new store will look like by clicking here
5 – An outlet for young people - Generations of young people in Tullamore and beyond had the Harriers as an outlet. If you want a trip down that particular memory lane click here. These days, teenagers have nothing in Tullamore. All they have is trips to Athlone to 'Boom'. Surely some venue in Tullamore can tap into this huge potential market.
6 – To market itself a premiere golf destination in Ireland – This is more of an aspirational one but do you know how many golf courses are within 25 miles of Tullamore? We make it as 12 but there could be more.... and many of those are of top quality. What golfing tourist would not fancy playing that wide a variety of golf courses on their next golfing holiday to Ireland.
7 – More direct foreign investment – Based on the latest figures, the IDA has all but forgotten that Tullamore and Offaly in general exist. We have an excellent Industrial Estate with loads of room for more factories. They need to be filled.
8 – A stretch of motorway to connect directly to the M6 motorway – This has been long discussed and plans were drawn up and a route was chosen but it has since faded into the background. A dual carraigeway (or motorway) from Tullamore to the M6 would make the town a more attractive prospect.
9 – A university or an IT – The chances of getting an stand alone university or IT are slim but a new campus of an existing institution is certainly an option. Thurles for example has a campus from Limerick IT. Athlone IT is just up the road. Perhaps it might branch out?
10 – An airport - Now before you choke yourself laughing, hear me out as it's not as mad an idea as you might think. How often have you flown to a city in Europe only to end up two or three hours away from the actual city? How far is Tullamore from Dublin...... and Galway and Limerick for that matter? Instead of spending billions on a metro from Dublin airport to Dublin City Centre that will take countless years to build, why not build an airport near Tullamore and use the existing infrastructure to get passengers to Dublin City Centre even faster?
We asked for your suggestions and there were some excellent ones. You can read a selection of them by clicking here