Fingal County Council has completed a significant public realm initiative in the heart of Swords aimed at supporting local businesses by transforming the existing streetscape into a welcoming and attractive community space.
A joint initiative from the Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Department and the Operations Department has seen a new “parklet” created on Main Street, providing an inviting extension to the footpath through the conversion of a number of car parking spaces into additional space for people to dine, sit and relax.
The parklet, which accommodates dining space and additional seating, is aimed at encouraging people back into the centre of the town while complying with public health guidance. Cycle racks have also been installed.
Mayor of Fingal, Cllr David Healy, said: “I am delighted to see this reallocation of road space in Swords, giving space to people and creating a more vibrant streetscape for people to enjoy. This is the start of a process whereby the streets of our towns will become more welcoming and relaxed places, and where people can sit, both on public benches and in outdoor cafes and restaurants. The reimagining of our streetscape is a significant step as we protect ourselves from Covid-19 by making use of outdoor space for socialising and living in, while also supporting our businesses.”
Fingal County Council’s Chief Executive AnnMarie Farrelly said: “Fingal County Council wants to roll out similar initiatives across the County as part of our response to Living with COVID-19. A call for collaborative proposals from businesses and communities under Fingal In It Together will be advertised in the coming days. We would invite everyone to view the Swords parklet and work with us to re-imagine the public realm in other locations for use by both our residents and businesses.”
Director of Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development Emer O’Gorman said: “Fingal County Council is committed to helping businesses across Fingal during this difficult Covid-19 period. A cornerstone of our work has been to encourage people to shop locally and support local businesses and this initiative is another element of that. This parklet in Swords will provide additional dining space for nearby restaurants and cafes and should help to increase dwell time and footfall in the area.”
Director of Operations David Storey said: “We are continually looking at innovative ways of improving our public realm spaces to help businesses across Fingal comply with public health guidelines. Providing parklets is a creative way of using existing spaces to transform our streetscapes to the benefit of both our residents and our business community.”
Chairperson of the Transport and Infrastructure Management Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Ted Leddy, said: “This is a great initiative which will help create a reimagined and reinvigorated streetscape in our towns to benefit both our business community and residents. I look forward to seeing them rolled out in other areas across Fingal.”
Chairperson of the Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Tony Murphy, said: “I would encourage businesses and communities to get behind this type of initiative when the call for proposals goes out from the Council. Supporting our local businesses as they deal with the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic is vital and initiatives such as this one play a key role in creating footfall and activity in our towns.”