Castlebar is receiving a facelift thanks to the efforts of a group of talented and enthusiastic volunteers.
Love Castlebar, is a unique initiative designed to restore civic pride in Castlebar and ensure visitors to the town receive Ireland’s warmest welcome.
The group’s Face Lift Castlebar campaign aims to breath fresh life into more than 30 derelict properties in Castlebar. A number of premises have already received the Love Castlebar treatment in an effort to spruce up the town’s streetscapes and vacant buildings. Volunteers meet each Sunday morning at the bridge on Main Street.
The Love Castlebar group gave a presentation to a meeting of Castlebar Town Council. “Our aim is to enhance the social and economic landscape of our town. Through people power,” Helen O’Hara, of Love Castlebar, told the meeting.
Mark Basquille outlined to the meeting the success of the Love Castlebar card. A business card which serves as a 10 per cent off voucher for 100 independent outlets in the town. More than 4,000 visitors received the card last year and it is hoped that the figure will grow to 10,000 this year. “We want people to think that Castlebar is doing something right, something different,” said Mark.
Tailored customer service training has so far been delivered to 53 Castlebar businesses and stores are being tested by Failte Ireland in a bid to have Castlebar crowned as Ireland’s most welcoming town. Over 80 ambassadors for Castlebar were recruited last year to give a “personal, warm and genuine welcome,” to tourists and visitors. “Providing the personal link deepens the tie and the experience,” explained Helen.
Love Castlebar has also created a clever YouTube video, Love Castlebar Facelift, which explains the challenges facing Castlebar and what the community can do to try and make a change.
Love Castlebar’s efforts were praised by councillors and the council is to explore the possibility of giving the group up to €20,000 if they are in a position to link up with the newly created Local Enterprise Office and alter their remit to focus on the area of job creation and attracting industry to the town.