Urlingford: Digital Town
A town ready for the future
Digital Town Blueprint
The management company for Irelands domain, .IE , has announced €1 million fund to enable a nation of ‘digital towns’. Urlingford Town Team will be engaging with this initiative on behalf of Urlingford. The fund is to be delivered over four years and will serve to encourage and enhance the digital readiness in Ireland’s towns as part of their .IE Digital Town programme. It was a great honour for Urlingford to be announced as the Kilkenny town that will participate in this initiative, especially since only one town per county was selected. The .IE Digital Town programme comprises three elements – the .IE Digital Town Awards; a new digital town ‘blueprint’ and a big data project. The first element, .IE Digital Town Awards recognise local community projects and everyday champions that demonstrate digital thinking and innovation for the betterment of local people, services and society. Urlingford was recently shortlisted as a finalist in these awards for their collaboration with Kilkenny Library Services in setting up a Self-Service Laptop Loan Facility. Another important element of the .IE Digital Town programme is a significant and European first research project that sets out a blueprint for digital towns and developed in partnership with the DCU Irish Institute of Business. Urlingford is to be part of this research. David Curtin, Chief Executive of .IE: “You can’t improve what you can’t measure. Researchers are showing that years of digital transformation have been accelerated into 12 short months. Policy makers and town leaders need information on what has happened." “Towns that prioritise connectivity, e-commerce, e-health, and other digital initiatives will recover faster and become more competitive as we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, attracting investment of capital, funding, expertise, and people. This will be especially important for towns that have been impacted by job losses and business closures. Urlingford Town Team hope that through this process the inadequacies of the broadband provision in the town will be measured, documented and hopefully rectified.
Fibre Broadband for Urlingford
Part of the requirements for a Digital Town that is ready for a digital future is the provision of High Speed Broadband, something that has eluded those premises located along Main Street, Urlingford. This will form part of the results of the data gathering exercise of the Digital Town Blueprint. In the meantime Urlingford Town Team will continue to advocate and work through all available avenues in an attempt to alleviate this position including communicating with National Broadband Ireland, EIR, local representatives and the DECC.
Masterplan for Urlingford as part of Government's Town Centre First Strategy
Urlingford has been selected by the Department of Rural and Community Development for the first ever Town Centre First Plan in Kilkenny. This initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s ambitious five-year strategy designed to reimagine and revitalise Rural Ireland. A Draft Masterplan has been prepared by Turley Consultants who were engaged by Kilkenny County Council for this purpose. The Draft Masterplan for Urlingford will be presented to Kilkenny’s Municipal District Council and following their consideration will be published on the Kilkenny County Council's website for public consultation.
Watch Urlingford finalist in category