Waterford to play integral role in new tourism initiative


Irelands-Ancient-East-MapWaterford Chamber President Dr Derek O’Byrne has welcomed the launch of a new tourism initiative, announced today by Failte Ireland.


Ireland’s Ancient East aims to promote the east and south with a cultural and heritage trail extending from the Boyne Valley, through the midlands, Kilkenny, Waterford and ending in Co. Cork.


Following the success of the Wild Atlantic Way, Failte Ireland focused its attention on the east of the country and according to their research, the initiative could increase visitor revenue to €950m by 2020. It is also anticipated that it could deliver an extra 600,000 visitors a year to the east and south, which would be most welcome, considering the east and south currently only accounts for 20% of international tourist nights in paid accommodation in Ireland.


"Today’s announcement is certainly a boost for tourism in Waterford and the wider region. The work which has been ongoing in areas such as the Viking Triangle is now more significant than ever and Waterford as Ireland’s oldest city will play an integral role in Ireland’s Ancient East. It is important to also remember the potential for job creation here, as well as the financial benefits to the local economy," Dr O’Byrne said.


With the chance to experience 5,000 years of European history, the route will focus on heritage and history themed along four pillars - ancient Ireland, early Christian Ireland, medieval Ireland and Anglo Ireland.


Commenting on the initiative, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe said the trail would match the Wild Atlantic Way.


"With the great amount of history and heritage in such a relatively compact area, Ireland's Ancient East will allow us to seriously build on the assets we have in the east and south - and the significant investment which has been made in tourism attractions in the region over the last few years," he said.


"While appealing to a different type of a visitor, I am confident that Ireland's Ancient East will prove as effective and popular as the Wild Atlantic Way and will deliver significant additional numbers of visitors, revenue and jobs to the region."


Full details here:

New grants a positive step towards regeneration


Waterford Chamber has welcomed the announcement of a number of new grants for retail business by Waterford City and County Council.


Four supports in total were outlined at the recent council meeting, for artisan producers, commercial services, office refurbishment and retail fit out.


Commenting on the grants, Waterford Chamber President Dr Derek O’Byrne said: “This new grant scheme shows the serious commitment of Waterford City & County Council to the economic regeneration of Waterford City centre and Waterford’s towns and villages. It can only be a positive thing for the future development of Waterford and is hugely encouraging for those in business who fit the criteria.”


The aim of Art/Craft Studio or Art/Craft/Artisan Food Shop Grant Scheme is to encourage applicants to occupy commercial premises/retail units that have been vacant for a period of three or more months. This in turn will enhance the vitality and vibrancy of Waterford City centre and strengthen Waterford’s towns and villages by promoting the redevelopment of underused village centre sites.


The New Non Competing Retail & Commercial Services Grant Scheme offers an incentive to those looking to establish their business in Waterford’s village centres, including locations such as Ardmore, Ballymacarbry, Cappoquin, Dunhill, Dunmore East, Kilmacthomas, Kilmeaden, Lismore, Passage East, Portlaw, Stradbally, Kill, Knockanore, Lemybrien, Cheekpoint and Fenor among others.


The third grant scheme is for office refurbishment, the objective of which is to increase the availability of suitable office accommodation in the main urban centres of Waterford City, Dungarvan and Tramore. It aims to encourage new businesses to occupy vacant commercial premises or upgrade existing office accommodation.


And finally the Fit Out Grant Scheme encourages new businesses to occupy commercial premises/ retail units that have been vacant over an extended period of time. The provision of new retail units is certain to enhance the vitality and vibrancy of Waterford’s City centre. The scheme will be available to new clothing, footwear and home ware retailers in the City Centre Commercial Area (i.e. retail entities not currently trading in the City Centre Commercial Area and who have not traded in the City Centre Commercial Area during the last two years). The Scheme is applicable to existing vacant properties (vacant for a minimum of three months) and to new developments.


Any queries regarding these schemes should be directed to Lisa Grant on 0761 099709 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Full details of all the schemes are available at:,a,Business/Retail,Business,Supports/

Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme

age-friendlySimple changes to increase consumer footfall

Do you know what group spends €10 billion annually? According to Revenue, it’s the 65+ market and as Waterford has an ageing population this figure is set to grow.


The Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme is a FREE (2-hour) workshop which aims to help businesses identify cost effective and sometimes free actions they can take to help their business become more age friendly.


Simple changes could include making your business easier to find, enter or move around, ultimately bettering the whole experience, not just for older consumers, but also for people with disabilities and parents with young children.


In addition to attracting new customers and increasing consumer footfall, your business will benefit from being branded nationally as an Age Friendly Business through a window sticker, charter and inclusion in an online national Directory of Age Friendly Businesses.


Waterford City & County Council and Waterford Chamber are hosting a short lunch time briefing to provide more details on the Age Friendly Business Recognition Programme and how it can benefit your business. At the briefing there will also be an opportunity to sign up for one of the two workshops being held in April.


The lunch time briefing will take place on Tuesday 21St April from 1.00pm to 2.00pm in the Large Room, City Hall. Please RSVP to Lynda Lawton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 051 311130.


If you are unable to attend the briefing but would like to attend the Age Friendly Business workshop, please contact Maureen Fitzsimons on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 0761 099661.

Positive Exchequer Returns provide flexibility for tax reductions


Waterford Chamber has welcomed today’s (02/04/15) positive Exchequer Returns for the first quarter of the year.


Speaking today, Nick Donnelly, CEO Waterford Chamber said, “Today’s positive Exchequer Returns provide further evidence that Government now have flexibility for constructive and meaningful reductions in taxation to put money back in people’s pockets. This will also reduce pressure on businesses to increase wages thereby continuing to maintain our competitiveness.”


“It is also imperative that Government starts to divert more resources to capital expenditure projects which will have long term benefits for the economy, growth and employment,” he concluded.

Learn at Lunch proves popular with executives




Waterford’s top legal minds and corporate executives gathered at Dooley’s Hotel on Wednesday, 31st March for Waterford Chamber’s first Learn at Lunch seminar. Facilitated by Tom Murran of Peter O’Connor & Son Solicitors and Tony McLaughlin of Windsor HRM, the event covered the topic of Employment Law.


The new lunchtime series will run quarterly throughout the year with the next seminar taking place on June 10th in the Tower Hotel and will cover the new Companies Act. For further information, please contact Lynda Lawton on 051 311130.


Reduction in youth unemployment figures positive but businesses need certainty on future wages rate to create more employment


Waterford Chamber has welcomed today’s (01/04/15) Live Register figures which show that the rate of unemployment now stands at 10%.


Speaking today, Nick Donnelly, CEO of Waterford Chamber said, “The reduction in unemployment to the level of 10% is to be welcomed. What is particularly encouraging is the significant drop of 20% in youth unemployment in the first quarter of the year. The number of those unemployed under the age of 25 now stands at 13.5% and it is vital that Government maintains its focus on further reducing this figure. This generation of workers will be the economic leaders and innovators of the future and the sooner they get on the career ladder and gain experience, the better for Ireland.


“While today’s labour market figures are positive, businesses need to be encouraged to take on more employees and this will only be possible if they have certainty that future wage expectations will be realistic,” he concluded.

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