Break on rates would aid new firm start-ups

Lough Rea Hotel & Spa team (from left) Shona Moran, Karen Brady, Catherine Kelly, Ruth O’Brien, Deimante Tilindyte, Sales and Marketing Manager Rose Finn and Melinda Earls celebrate their selection as Best Luxury Hotel and Spa, Galway from the global publication the Luxury Travel Guide.
Lough Rea Hotel & Spa team (from left) Shona Moran, Karen Brady, Catherine Kelly, Ruth O’Brien, Deimante Tilindyte, Sales and Marketing Manager Rose Finn and Melinda Earls celebrate their selection as Best Luxury Hotel and Spa, Galway from the global publication the Luxury Travel Guide.

Galway County Council have been urged to consider a ‘rates holiday’ for those wishing to rent or purchase some of the 50 vacant business premises in Tuam.

The number of empty business premises in and around the town centre in Tuam has been remarked upon by many visitors to Tuam in recent months. It is highlighted by the fact that there are large blue signs outside two of the most prominent business premises in The Square.

It has been suggested that some of these premises could have potential use if Galway County Council came up with an initiative that did not involve the imposition of commercial rates for a lengthy period of time.

Cllr Donagh Killilea said that energetic new business people were not encouraged to occupy some of these premises because of the overheads involved. These include expensive commercial rates.

Last year there was a shocking revelation in Tuam that almost 50 business premises in the town have either shut down or are empty. The situation has gotten worse in the meantime.

Tuam is the biggest town in the county and yet there are dozens of boarded up shops and pubs in the town centre which is a major concern for the existing town centre businesses. The reduction in footfall is having a financial impact for them.

There is no chamber of commerce anymore and some of the most successful entertainment events have been called off for the coming year. These include the Sugar Beat festival and the Tuam Trad Festival.

A survey conducted by The Connacht Tribune last year revealed that there were almost 50 empty retail premises in and around the town centre in Tuam.

At the time, the now-defunct Tuam Chamber of Commerce said that it was high time for every organisation in the town to come together to address this situation and put life back into the town centre.

Cllr Killilea has put a proposal to Galway County Council asking that there no rates would apply for a year in relation to business premises that are closed for twelve months or more.