€672,000 investment for Wicklow and Arklow Ports

€672,000 investment for Wicklow and Arklow Ports

Minister Charlie McConalogue has approved 5 projects in Wicklow under the Brexit Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023. 

These projects will enhance and improve the facilities in both Arklow and Wicklow harbours.

Senator Casey said these works, which will include harbour pontoons in both Arklow and Wicklow, navigation aids for Wicklow harbour and welfare and storage facilities in Arklow. This investment of over €102,000 for Wicklow and €570,000 for Arklow will help to improve much need facilities in the two harbours for both harbour users and vessel owners.

Senator Casey said “these added facilities will not only improve the infrastructure available in each port but also provide for additional safety and welfare facilities. I’m delighted to have worked closely with my colleague Minister Mc Conalogue in supporting this application for funding from Wicklow County Council.  I wish to thank the Council for its work in submitting the application and for its financial contribution toward the projects.  Also I wish to acknowledge the support of my colleagues, local Fianna Fáil Councillors Dunne, Annesley, Fitzgerald, Kennedy and others”

Project Description
Inner Harbour Arklow PontoonDevelopment of pontoon and safety works€200,000
Arklow Harbour Welfare FacilitiesWelfare facilities*€45,000
Wicklow Harbour Navigation AidsRefurbishment and upgrade works€50,000
South Quay Wicklow Harbour PontoonInstallation of pontoons€52,000
South Quay Arklow Storage FacilitiesConstruction of storage facilities€325,000

*Arklow welfare facilities

Development of toilets, shower and changing facilities for harbour users.  The proposed works include the provision of a wheelchair accessible toilet for the use of all harbour users and shower and drying room facilities reserved for the use of vessel owners.

Article Credit : www.wicklownews.net

Signs of stabilisation in jobs market says Irishjobs.ie

Signs of stabilisation in jobs market says Irishjobs.ie

The jobs market is showing signs of stabilisation according to the first quarterly jobs index of 2022 by IrishJobs.ie, with the number of job vacancies levelling out compared with last year.

While the index reveals 44% year-on-year growth in the number of jobs available, it is down on the last quarter’s growth rate of 86%.

While year-on-year numbers have slowed, jobs have increased by 3% quarter-on-quarter, and the overall volume of jobs available remains high, reflecting the continued normalisation of the economy.

The growth level for roles in the Tourism, Travel & Airlines sector is over 700%.

Meanwhile, there is a 130% year-on-year growth in the number of roles offering the option of remote work – another lasting impact of how the employment market has evolved over the course of the last two years.

Orla Moran, General Manager of IrishJobs.ie, said the index is an important quarterly barometer that consistently gauges what is happening in the jobs market.

“Over the past year, the Index has reflected the variable nature of the pandemic and its role as a key driver of hiring surges across the country towards the end of last year,” she said.

“With the lifting of all public health restrictions earlier this year, the first Jobs Index of 2022 suggests some stabilisation in the market with the number of job vacancies levelling out compared to the high year-on-year growth we saw last quarter,” she added.

“That said, we are still seeing growth in job vacancies with an increase of 44% compared to this time last year,” she stated.

“This shows that the market for employment remains strong for job seekers around the country and employers need to remain competitive in order to retain and recruit talent.”

Of the 30 sectors analysed in this quarter’s Index, 22 posted year-on-year increases in job vacancy creation in the first quarter of 2022, while 15 sectors posted quarterly increases in job vacancy creation.

Jobs have rebounded significantly in sectors worst hit by Covid-19, with Tourism, Travel and Airlines and Hotel and Catering displaying significant increases of 763% and 396% respectively.

Other sectors showing strong year-on-year growth in Q1 2022 include the Public Sector (+119%), Secretarial & Admin (+101%), HR & Recruitment (+98%), Security, Trades & General Services (+86%) and Construction, Architecture & Property (+71%).

On a quarterly basis, the largest increases in vacancies are evident in Environmental, Health and Safety (+68%), Legal (+39%) and Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (+25%).

Meanwhile, a growing number of job vacancies are becoming available outside of Dublin.

While almost every county in Ireland, apart from three, experienced double or triple digit year-on-year growth, Wicklow (+134%), Kilkenny (+129%), Kildare (+114%) and Carlow (+116%) saw the largest rise in the number of job vacancies, with vacancies in the capital of Dublin rising by 38%.

“Today’s results show that it is still very much an employee’s market,” Ms Moran continued.

“HR departments will continue to have to work hard to fill key talent gaps in their organisation. One bit of good news for beleaguered recruiters is that, according to research carried out by iReach, 30% of people in March 2022 say they were looking to move job within the next 12 months compared to 23% of people surveyed in December 2021.

This period is being framed as the “Great Re-Evaluation” as employees assess their career options and consider what is important to them.

The hiring platform is also starting to see the impact of inflation, which the ESRI believe will run at an average of 6.7% for the year, and is likely to encourage employees to move jobs to try and attain higher salaries in order to keep pace with soaring consumer prices.

“This puts even more pressure on HR teams and employers to ensure they have the right strategies and internal resources in place to support their recruitment and retention ambitions in 2022,” she said.

“It’s possible that inflation may, in time, replace Covid-19 and a better work-life balance as a key factor driving up the number of roles offering remote work, as people try to cut down on commuting and other costs associated with working from the office.”

Article credit : www.rte.ie

Welcome To The Vibrant Seaside Town Of Wicklow

Welcome To The Vibrant Seaside Town Of Wicklow

The new “Welcome to the Vibrant Seaside Town of Wicklow” video has just launched.

So much hard work has gone into this video to showcase everything our little hidden gem has to offer.

From Heritage Trails to stunning scenery, from local landmarks to tourist attractions, from fine dining establishments to trendy cafes – Wicklow Town has it all.

Have a look at the video and see for yourself

Wicklow Rotary Club launches Ukrainian Appeal

Wicklow Rotary Club launches Ukrainian Appeal

Wicklow Rotary Club has received a licence to conduct a street collection in Wicklow town on Friday and Saturday, April 15-16  and we hope that as many Wicklow residents and visitors to the town will support this worthy cause.

The Rotary Club of Wicklow has already raised over €12,000 for its Ukrainian appeal. The club donated €4,000 for immediate relief of refugees at the Polish border and €8,000 will go directly to the Wicklow Ukraine Fund with plans to raise €20,000 here in Wicklow. 

Martina Fox, President-Elect, Rotary Wicklow has been assigned by the club to make funds available directly to Ukrainian Appeal in Wicklow on behalf of Wicklow Rotary. “We made our first contribution when the first wave of refugees arrived at the Polish border during the early days of the Russian  invasion,” she said. “It is important now that funds go directly towards the Ukrainian appeal in Wicklow. Those who donate to the appeal through Rotary and clubs such as The Lions, know that all funds go directly to help refugees located here in the Garden County.”

We have received generous donations including a major contribution from the Wicklow Male Voice Choir this week which we really appreciate. Rotary urges all  members and their friends and families to support the Wicklow Male Voice Choir Concert in the Church of St. Patrick, Wicklow on Sunday May 29th at 8.00pm. All proceeds will be donated to the Refugee Fund in what promises to be a great evening’s music.

Wicklow Rotary will continue to raise funds over the coming weeks and months. “Payment can be made into the Wicklow Rotary Ukrainian Refugee Account  (IBAN  IE17BOFI90673471649421) or by cheque to the Rotary Club of Wicklow Ukranian Refugee Appeal c/o Cooney Parle Accountants, Main Street, Wicklow as well as our street collection over the Easter weekend.

Rotary has a long and proud tradition in supporting international and local causes during the recent  Covid-19 pandemic and down through the years in projects such as its  international polio eradication programme. The Rotary Club of  Wicklow is part of  Rotary International, a worldwide organisation whose motto is ‘Service above Self’.  Club members use their professional skills and expertise in volunteer work in the community and overseas. The club has a track record in raising funds for local and international charities.

You can learn more about Wicklow Rotary Club by visiting their website https://www.wicklowrotary.org/

Welcome To The Vibrant Seaside Town Of Wicklow

Successful Launch of Guided Walk for Wicklow Town Heritage Trail

The President of Wicklow Town & District Chamber of Commerce, Matt Forkin has said that the Wicklow Town Heritage Trail has introduced a significant addition to the Tourist offering in Wicklow Town.

He was speaking after the successful launch of the first guided walk for the Wicklow Town Heritage Trail, which took place on Saturday last, 19th March, which attracted a large number of visitors.

He complimented Wicklow Town Team and Wicklow Municipal Council on developing this project and said that this new project will have a real economic benefit to the town, as the trail follows through all of the main street and finishes in Wicklow Gaol, which is currently the leading tourist attraction in the town.

The Heritage Trail features 24 points of interest – detailing the history of Wicklow Town, from the landing of St. Patrick in 432, to the end of the Civil War in 1923. To complete the Heritage Trail, it will take around 2 hours, allowing participants to spend some time at each location.

Mr Forkin said that he noted that there is an invitation on the promotional material for the trail for visitors to enjoy the friendliness of Wicklow Town and to visit our family-owned award-winning shops, hospitable cafes, restaurants and pubs, as they follow the new Wicklow Town Heritage Trail.

He said that with the threat of Covid being lifted and the abolition of its restrictions, there is a real opportunity for all retail and hospitality businesses to promote this trail, which he has no doubt will bring added footfall to the town.

Speaking after the inaugural guided walk, local historian John Finlay confirmed that there are now plans to have a weekly guided walk of the Wicklow Town Heritage Trail with effect from Easter Saturday, 16th April 2022.

For further information on the Wicklow Town Heritage Trail, visit www.wicklowtown.ie.

“Another successful year for Wicklow Chamber”

“Another successful year for Wicklow Chamber”

At the AGM of Wicklow Town & District Chamber, chamber President Matt Forkin reviewed another successful year for the Chamber.

He said that Covid, over the last 2 years, had posed many problems in how the Chamber engaged with its members and he was now looking forward to members being able to meet face to face again and revert to the traditional meeting formats, which had not been possible during this time.

He announced that the Chamber was currently kick-starting a members recruitment campaign to bring on board as many active new members as possible and he forecast that the recruitment of new members will lead to increased recognition of the Chamber’s positive contribution to business and community life in Wicklow Town.

He noted the many improvements that had been carried out in the town over the last 12 months, with the refurbishment of Fitzwilliam Square and the Market Square being a major highlight, which has helped regenerate many businesses in these areas.

He noted the increased growth in hospitality businesses and said that the hospitality sector was becoming an increasingly important part of the local economy.

He said that the introduction of the one-way traffic system had generated a number of challenges to businesses located in the Town centre and said that the Chamber was working actively with Wicklow Municipal Council to tweak the current system in order to overcome issues that were causing a major concern to retailers in the Main Street.

Mr. Forkin congratulated the recent winners of Chamber Awards and said that it was extremely important to recognise our many excellent businesses and the Chamber Awards was a very tangible way of giving due recognition for successful business achievements.

The meeting heard that the much-loved “Taste of Wicklow” will return for the first time since 2019 and will take place over the weekend of 25th & 26th June in a new venue at Dominican Convent and that there was a very active sub-committee working with Chamber Executive Susana Costello to ensure a bigger and better Taste of Wicklow event than ever.

The following officers were elected:

President:                  Matt Forkin

Vice President:         Stephen Delaney
Treasurer:                  Brian Murray

Signs of stabilisation in jobs market says Irishjobs.ie

Measures urgently needed to protect against exceptional energy cost inflation says IBEC

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has called on Government to deliver further measures to protect the economy from exceptional energy cost inflation and enhance Ireland’s enhance energy security. 

In a letter to An Taoiseach this afternoon (see attached), Ibec CEO Danny McCoy outlined: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the fragility of Europe’s energy system, its over dependence on fossil gas from Russia, and failure to decarbonise and diversify its energy mix since the energy crisis of 2008. The invasion has also accelerated energy price inflation, with natural gas and oil prices rising to record levels. 

“Ireland is acutely exposed to these cost increases and energy supply challenges because of our increasing dependence on imported gas, our low levels of electricity interconnection, and a surge in electricity demand projected for this decade. Like households, Irish businesses are struggling to adjust to these exceptional price increases, with energy intensive sectors at particular risk. Firms and jobs will be lost if Government doesn’t do more to address this energy crisis.

“Irish businesses spend (excluding energy suppliers) over €3 billion annually on natural gas and electricity and a further €1 billion on road transport fuels. Members are reporting increases in some costs which are multiples of the same time in 2021. This will put major pressure on companies’ ability to maintain profitability with knock on implications for investment and jobs.

“While gas supply is secure in the short term, Ireland needs to prepare for Winter 2022/23 and beyond. Ibec is therefore recommending that Government should implement the following measures to help protect businesses from extreme cost pressures in the short term and build a more secure, sustainable, and competitive energy system in the medium term as we transition to a net zero economy.”

The key measures needed include:

Phase 1: actions required within the next three months 
– Work with business to provide immediate direct fiscal interventions to help ease the burden of increasing energy costs 
– Develop, with EU partners, a common Emergency Aid Framework to support business across the continent through this period of volatility and exceptional costs
– Advance plans to undertake a comprehensive national energy security review to identify risks and opportunities in our energy system as we transition to net zero 
– Bring forward by one year the development of an integrated hydrogen strategy for Ireland and set clear national targets for hydrogen and renewable gas 
– Begin work on a new framework to permit the development of new emergency energy storage in Ireland, including back up LNG options
– Revise the Diesel Rebate Scheme for Irish hauliers to keep the sector viable and Irish business competitive during this period. 
– Accelerate decarbonisation and energy efficiency gains by a scaling-up of business supports and advancing the timeline for the national retrofit programme.

Phase 2: actions required before the end of 2022
– Finance through EU ETS auction revenue the development of hydrogen and biogas projects to enhance security of supply
– Work with EU partners to use CAP funding to support biogas production in rural areas and promote opportunities in the biogas sector
– Support a faster delivery of renewable energy and network infrastructure projects by giving them public interest priority status in the planning system.  
– Support sectors at risk of carbon leakage due to high direct and indirect energy costs as permitted by the EU Emissions Trading System State Aid Guidelines. 
– Develop clear guidelines on Solar PV and introduce new financial supports to help business invest in on-site generation
– Direct greater resources to the departments and state agencies involved in the planning and licensing of energy projects, including An Bord Pleanála and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.

A copy of the letter to Government can be seen here

Article Credit : www.ibec.ie

Wicklow Town & District Chamber Celebrates the 2021 Wicklow Business Endeavours Awards

Wicklow Town & District Chamber Celebrates the 2021 Wicklow Business Endeavours Awards

After two years of virtual events, Wicklow Town & District Chamber of Commerce was delighted to celebrate in person the achievements of outstanding local businesses and organisations for 2021. On February 25th, Wicklow Town & District Chamber of Commerce were joined by Wicklow business owners, local government, chamber members and community leaders to celebrate the achievements of outstanding local businesses, organisations and individuals at the Wicklow Chamber Endeavour Awards Ceremony. Recipients of the 2021 Chamber Business Awards were selected by their peers and the public and were chosen out of a robust list of finalists and nominees from across Wicklow Town & Environs.

The 2021 Chamber Business Awards Recipients are:

Best New Business: Winner was Firehouse Bakery.
Runner ups were Mad Hatters Dessert Emporium and Opera.

Best Retail Award: Winner was The Shoebox.
Runner ups were Heels & Wardrobe and Bridge Street Books.

Best SME: Winner was King Hair & Beauty.
Runner ups were Ray of Sunshine Morning & Afterschool Care and MD Design.

Best Eating/Pub/Hospitality Award: Winner was Firehouse Bakery.
Runner up were The Mariner Bar & Eat House and Blue Seafood & Bistro.

Honouring Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award: Billy O’Reilly, Wicklow Hire & Sales Ltd

Honouring Community Award: Meals on Wheels, Wicklow

Special Recognition Award: Frank Curran

“The Wicklow Endeavour Business Awards gives us a chance to showcase some of the amazing business talent that we have here in Wicklow Town & District,” says Matt Forkin, President of Wicklow Town & District Chamber of Commerce. “This annual event is a great opportunity to recognise and reward our business community who continually achieve a remarkable level of business excellence, while continuing to encourage the entrepreneurial and community spirit of our Town & District.” Matt thanked all of our generous sponsors: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Burke Oil, Herbst Software, Wicklow County Council, Wicklow Enterprise Park and Wicklow Hire & Sales for their continued support to the Chamber and to the wider Business Community. He also paid special thanks to Stephen Delaney for acting as master of ceremony for this years event. He finished by thanking Wicklow Library for hosting the venue for our awards and to Natalie and her team in Sorrel & Eve who provided the catering for the awards ceremony.

Billy O’Reilly of Wicklow Hire presents Shauna Keogh and Gavin Nolan of the Firehouse Bakery with the “Best Eating/Pub/Hospitality” and Best New Business Awards at the 2021 Wicklow & District Chamber of Commerce Awards which were held in the Library Buildings in Wicklow Town.

Derek Tobin of the Bank of Ireland presents Samantha King of King Hair and Beauty with the “Best SME” Award at the 2021 Wicklow & District Chamber of Commerce Awards which were held in the Library Buildings in Wicklow Town.

Brain Gleeson, Wicklow County Council presents Stephen Delaney of the Shoebox with the “Best Retail” Award at the 2021 Wicklow & District Chamber of Commerce Awards which were held in the Library Buildings in Wicklow Town.

Emeir O’Connell of the Wicklow Enterprise Centre presents Frank Curran with the “Special Recognition” Award at the 2021 Wicklow & District Chamber of Commerce Awards which were held in the Library Buildings in Wicklow Town.

David Lott of Burke Oil presents Maura Kavanagh of the Wicklow Meals on Wheels with the “Community Award” at the 2021 Wicklow & District Chamber of Commerce Awards which were held in the Library Buildings in Wicklow Town.

Vice Chairman of the Wicklow Chamber Stephen Delaney presents Billy O’Reilly with the “Honouring Innovation & Entrepreneurship” Award at the 2021 Wicklow & District Chamber of Commerce Awards which were held in the Library Buildings in Wicklow Town.

Wicklow Chamber celebrates International Women’s Day

Wicklow Chamber celebrates International Women’s Day

Wicklow Town & District Chamber would like to take this moment to celebrate all of our female members who manage to stay strong and successful in business on this and every other day.

Wicklow has so many successful female fronted companies that it would be impossible to name them all but collectively you remain a strong force for change and equality in the workplace. The sheer grit, determination and drive to remain relevant and prosperous is both inspiring and heartening.

On this International Women’s Day we want to congratulate you all for being authentically yourselves and we want to always offer you our hand of support and solidarity.

There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish” – Michelle Obama