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Waterford Council achieves NTA’s Smarter Travel Mark certification

Waterford City and County Council recently achieved the Transport for Ireland (TFI) ‘Smarter Travel Mark’ bronze certification.

The Smarter Travel Mark recognises a commitment to sustainable travel initiatives.  The programme works with large employers and campuses to implement workplace travel plans, including a package of measures to encourage people to walk, cycle, use public transport, or reduce trips. The benefits of these initiatives include reduced emissions, better health and wellbeing for staff members, a more active lifestyle, and a cleaner environment.

Working towards the award as a Local Authority comes with its own unique challenges and rewards, and Waterford City and County Council is proud to be one of only a small number of Local Authorities in the country to have achieved this mark of recognition.

Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer with Waterford City and County Council said,

“We’re pleased to recognise the work done by individuals across multiple departments making sustainable travel more practical for staff members.  This includes all who helped with the travel survey data, departments making electric bicycles available for use, creating spaces for bicycles to be safely stored, and providing showers for use by active travellers.  We’d also like to thank the staff who maintain and promote the Cycle to Work scheme and the Tax Saver Tickets, and give special mention to all who made the wonderful range of Bike Week events possible, as well as the City Cycling events for staff.”

Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Adam Wyse added,

“I’d like to acknowledge the numerous Local Authority staff who have actively engaged with the various active travel programmes run by the Climate Action team over the last year and made great strides in highlighting the possibilities of behavioural change.  Everyone involved got into the spirit wholeheartedly and their contributions have played a massive part in Waterford City and County Council achieving this accreditation.

We have more miles to travel to achieve the silver standard, but I’m confident that with the guidance, advice, encouragement and more great initiatives from the Climate Action team that goal will be reached.”

ENDS

Free to use image – Patrick Browne
Photograph 1: (left to right at back, Lauren Walsh-Kett, Active Cities Officer, Barbera Stosic, Active Travel, Kieran Norris, NTA, Jemma Jacob, Road Safety Officer, left to right at front, Deputy Major Adam Wyse, Cian Gill, Climate Action Officer)

WAM Leader Awards 2024

On Tuesday last, 25th June, 2024, at the WAM Leader Awards at the House of Lords, Bank of Ireland, Dublin, Waterford City & County Council was presented with a WAM Leader Award for 2024 for Promoting the Employment of Graduates with Disabilities.

AHEAD works with and for disabled people to shape inclusive and empowering environments in tertiary education and employment.  Waterford City & County Council have successfully partnered with AHEAD and recruited WAM Graduates over the last three years.

Left to right;  Caroline McGrotty, AHEAD, Sinead McCann, H.R., Monaghan County Council, Jane Brophy, LGMA, Suzanne Gough, H.R., Waterford City & County Council, Deirdre Moore, AHEAD, Philip Carroll, WAM Project Officer, AHEAD.

GIY Ireland wins the 2024 Waterford Digital Awards

GIY wins LEO Award

Waterford Local Enterprise Office, together with Waterford City & County Council are pleased to announce GIY Ireland as their 2024 Waterford Digital Awards Overall Winner.

The ceremony, which took place at Dooley’s Hotel on Friday 7th June, aimed to recognise and reward SMEs based in County Waterford who have developed their ecommerce and digital platforms as part of their product offering. The awards were open to all businesses with less than 50 full time employees based in County Waterford.

GIY Ireland, the overall winner, empowers individuals globally to lead healthier and more sustainable lives by growing some of their own food. Its goal is to inspire over 100 million people by 2030, to engage in food growing at home, school, work, and within their community. Its aim is to foster a global community of food growers to contribute to a sustainable food system.

Michael Kelly, founder, was obviously delighted to win the award, “Delivering educational content via our digital channels is a critical activity to drive people towards new behaviours around food, particularly encouraging them to grow some of their own food. We’re so proud that these efforts have been rewarded today. We’d like to thank the team at the LEO for all its help over the years.”

The winners of each award category were:

  1. Best Business to Business Website

Street Art Ink

  1. Best Business to Customer Website

Irina Duane Photography

  1. Best E Commerce Website

Wrapped in Kindness

  1. Best Export Website

Klearcom

  1. Best in social media

GIY Ireland

The winner of each category received €1,000 towards technical advice, photography, videography and marketing. The overall winner received €2,500 in cash.

Gareth Evans, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Waterford was delighted with the quality and standard of entries, “This is our 3rd Digital Awards and my first. Having spoken to the judges during the process, they were extremely impressed with the quality and quantity of entries. Being home to the oldest City in Ireland, Waterford has been and is an innovative county having to adapt many times. It’s great to see that innovative spirit continue with another fresh group of entries and winners, demonstrating the amazing talent we have, and what a great place Waterford is for new ideas.

“The training and Trading Online Vouchers enable our clients to transition to a model of digital sales and added promotional platforms. These developments reaped financial rewards for many, not to mention ensuring an income stream and growth over the years. The awards are just icing on the cake, and an opportunity to give them some public acclaim.”

For further information follow this link www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford, contact LEO Waterford at 051 849905 or email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie

Waterford Digital Story Trail shortlisted in two categories of .ie Digital Town Awards

A digital story trail featuring augmented reality which offers tourists an engaging way to discover Waterford’s rich and fascinating history via their smartphone has been shortlisted in the Digital Tourism and Digital Changemaker categories of the .ie Digital Town Awards 2024

The .ie Digital Town Awards recognise and reward projects with a digital element created by town groups, individuals and local communities.

In February of last year, Waterford City and County Council in partnership with Imvizar, and with Fáilte Ireland funding under the Destination Towns Initiative, launched Waterford’s first Digital Story Trail (DST), which explores the history, culture, and heritage of 15 different locations across the city centre, including Reginald’s Tower, Waterford Crystal, the Watchtower and Arundel Square.

Through the use of augmented reality smartphone technology, visitors and locals can experience Waterford’s past by watching digital animations of characters and architecture appear as if they are in the physical world right in front of them. The trail can be accessed for free by scanning one of the numerous QR codes on signs located throughout the city trail or by visiting visitwaterford.com/digitalstorytrail/

This innovative experience seamlessly combines audio, augmented reality, and a simple-to-use web interface which allows visitors to interact with Waterford City’s rich past. Using a mobile device, visitors are transported to 15 key locations where they can listen to tales from historical figures and witness AR recreations of pivotal moments.

In addition to meeting life-like characters from Waterford’s past, scanning the QR code also provides an audio tale from an historical figure, coupled with interesting facts and a timeline of events. Spanning over a thousand years of Waterford’s history, tourists can listen as Reginald, a Viking King and warlord from the 10th century, as he describes his quest to launch raids all over Ireland and watch as Thomas Francis Meagher, Leader of the Young Irelanders in the 1848 Rebellion, raises the first Irish tricolour.

Waterford’s history of master craft making is also recognised.  Rachel Penrose, the wife of one of the founders of Waterford Crystal, William Penrose, appears in a recreation of an 18th century glass-blowing scene. Trail users can also meet Anastasia Fleming, a silversmith from the late 1700s, and see a reimagined façade of her silversmith shop.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway commended the initiative saying it truly brings Waterford’s history to life in a fun, engaging and fascinating way.  “With over 1,000 years of history to explore the Digital Story Trail takes the user on an intriguing journey, in which they can meet the characters that shaped Ireland’s Oldest City.”

Orna Holohan, Tourism Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “The Waterford Digital Story Trail was identified as an ideal way to introduce visitors to the varied stories and characters of Waterford. It provides visitors with free entertainment at any time of the day, taking about one and a half hours to complete.  Users can stop and start at any point, and it purposefully leads people past attractions, shops and café’s to encourage people to dwell longer in the destination.”

The DST has exceeded expectations attracting over 25,000 visitors and boosting the city’s tourism, particularly from international guests. In its first year 75% of users were from Ireland but through promotion international users increased to 43% in 2023 with US, UK, Germany, France and Spain being the top users. Beyond enhancing tourism, the trail has deepened the community’s connection to its heritage, making history more accessible and engaging through innovative technology.

The project’s success has not gone unnoticed. It was featured in the New York Times “52 places to go” list in 2024 and praised on RTE’s Nationwide for its exemplary approach to digital heritage storytelling.

This year’s shortlisted finalists cover the full spectrum of idea development and readiness, with the gala awards ceremony taking place in Athlone on May 24th.

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Image – Free to use Patrick Browne

Anastasia Fleming, an 18th Century silversmith, and Odin Lord of Valhalla with then Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary the launch of the Waterford Digital Story Trail in February 2023.

Molly Keane Creative Writing Award 2024

Molly KeaneSince 1998, the Arts Office has been running this national annual Creative Writing Award to celebrate the rich literary life of the late Molly Keane.  Molly lived in Ardmore, Co. Waterford until she died in 1996. She started writing at a young age to ‘supplement her dress allowance’. Her first ten novels and four plays were published under the pseudonym M.J. Farrell. She married into the Keane family of West Waterford but sadly her husband died at the age of 36.

Molly ceased writing until 1981 when ‘Good Behaviour’ was published under her real name.  It became a publishing sensation and was well received as a masterpiece of black comedy for which she was short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize in 1981.

The Arts Office, Waterford City & County Council by kind permission of the Keane family is now inviting entries for a previously unpublished short story for this years’ award.

The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday 14th June 2024 at 12 noon.

There is a cash prize of €250 plus a writing course under the auspices of the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore to the value of €300 for the winner and there is no entry fee.

Full guidelines and the online submission details are now live on the Waterford Submit platform see: https://submit.link/2CB

 

 

Greenfeed wins the 3rd annual Pitch Perfect competition

LEO Pitch Perfect 2024

Greenfeed is the successful 2024 Waterford Pitch Perfect business. The announcement was made by Jacqui Gaule, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, Local Enterprise Office Waterford.

Greenfeed has created a new animal feed additive which will dramatically reduce methane emissions from ruminant species (such as cattle) currently farmed in Ireland. Animal methane emissions are the largest single producer of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Ireland accounting for 24% of all emissions released each year.

Michael Power of Greenfeed really enjoyed the process and was delighted to become the overall winner, “The competition was very enjoyable, particularly to see so many wonderful home-grown business ideas. The entire group learned from the process and for me, winning the overall pitch competition was just a bonus.

“Greenfeed will allow the Irish government to reach its climate targets and decrease the penalties it would be subject to, removing the need for a mass cull of the national herd. Greenfeed’s solutions will allow farmers greater autonomy over their farms, including the size of their herd and their day-to-day activities, while also being incredibly beneficial for the environment”.

Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Waterford, ArcLabs Research and Innovation Centre and Boxworks joined forces to deliver this Start Up Competition for those with an innovative business idea or those already in business trading less than 18 months.

Participants, limited to those based in Waterford, were guided through the initial stages of developing their idea/business. Then successful applicants were selected for a Business Boot camp where they perfected their pitch before presenting to panel of judges.

The bootcamp was delivered by the Entrepreneurs Academy on April 26th & 27th. The winner received €1,000 in prize money and a desk space for 6 months as part of the LEO Desk Programme in collaboration with Boxworks. All participants were offered mentoring as part of our LEO Mentoring programme.

Jacqui Gaule was impressed with the quality of entries, “This marks the third year of our Pitch Perfect competition, and we were truly impressed by the quality of applications we received. The participants who took part in the programme collaborated exceptionally well and the calibre of the pitches was outstanding. It’s inspiring to witness the influx of fresh ideas and emerging businesses from Waterford.”

Local Enterprise Office Waterford is here to help you start a business, expand an existing business or reach new markets. It provides advice, information and supports in starting up or growing your business as part of a network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices across Ireland.

Contact your Local Enterprise Office Waterford for information about its programs and grants, on www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford or email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie for access to all its training support information.

ENDS

Waterford Digital Story Trail shortlisted in two categories of .ie Digital Town Awards

A digital story trail featuring augmented reality which offers tourists an engaging way to discover Waterford’s rich and fascinating history via their smartphone has been shortlisted in the Digital Tourism and Digital Changemaker categories of the .ie Digital Town Awards 2024.

The .ie Digital Town Awards recognise and reward projects with a digital element created by town groups, individuals and local communities.

In February of last year, Waterford City and County Council in partnership with Imvizar, and with Fáilte Ireland funding under the Destination Towns Initiative, launched Waterford’s first Digital Story Trail (DST), which explores the history, culture, and heritage of 15 different locations across the city centre, including Reginald’s Tower, Waterford Crystal, the Watchtower and Arundel Square.

Through the use of augmented reality smartphone technology, visitors and locals can experience Waterford’s past by watching digital animations of characters and architecture appear as if they are in the physical world right in front of them. The trail can be accessed for free by scanning one of the numerous QR codes on signs located throughout the city trail or by visiting www.visitwaterford.com/digitalstorytrail/

This innovative experience seamlessly combines audio, augmented reality, and a simple-to-use web interface which allows visitors to interact with Waterford City’s rich past. Using a mobile device, visitors are transported to 15 key locations where they can listen to tales from historical figures and witness AR recreations of pivotal moments.

In addition to meeting life-like characters from Waterford’s past, scanning the QR code also provides an audio tale from an historical figure, coupled with interesting facts and a timeline of events. Spanning over a thousand years of Waterford’s history, tourists can listen as Reginald, a Viking King and warlord from the 10th century, as he describes his quest to launch raids all over Ireland and watch as Thomas Francis Meagher, Leader of the Young Irelanders in the 1848 Rebellion, raises the first Irish tricolour.

Waterford’s history of master craft making is also recognised.  Rachel Penrose, the wife of one of the founders of Waterford Crystal, William Penrose, appears in a recreation of an 18th century glass-blowing scene. Trail users can also meet Anastasia Fleming, a silversmith from the late 1700s, and see a reimagined façade of her silversmith shop.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway commended the initiative saying it truly brings Waterford’s history to life in a fun, engaging and fascinating way.  “With over 1,000 years of history to explore the Digital Story Trail takes the user on an intriguing journey, in which they can meet the characters that shaped Ireland’s Oldest City.”

Orna Holohan, Tourism Officer with Waterford City and County Council said, “The Waterford Digital Story Trail was identified as an ideal way to introduce visitors to the varied stories and characters of Waterford. It provides visitors with free entertainment at any time of the day, taking about one and a half hours to complete.  Users can stop and start at any point, and it purposefully leads people past attractions, shops and café’s to encourage people to dwell longer in the destination.”

The DST has exceeded expectations attracting over 25,000 visitors and boosting the city’s tourism, particularly from international guests. In its first year 75% of users were from Ireland but through promotion international users increased to 43% in 2023 with US, UK, Germany, France and Spain being the top users. Beyond enhancing tourism, the trail has deepened the community’s connection to its heritage, making history more accessible and engaging through innovative technology.

The project’s success has not gone unnoticed. It was featured in the New York Times “52 places to go” list in 2024 and praised on RTE’s Nationwide for its exemplary approach to digital heritage storytelling.

This year’s shortlisted finalists cover the full spectrum of idea development and readiness, with the gala awards ceremony taking place in Athlone on May 24th.

-ends-

Image – Free to use Patrick Browne

Anastasia Fleming, an 18th Century silversmith, and Odin Lord of Valhalla with then Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary the launch of the Waterford Digital Story Trail in February 2023.

Tramore Public Realm Architects shortlisted for National Architectural Award

Tramore Public Realm

Waterford based dhbArchitects have once again been shortlisted in a national competition for their town centre project in Tramore. The competition is ‘Building and Architect of the Year’, with the winner announced at an awards ceremony in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin on April 12th.

Máire Henry, Director of dhbArchitects, said, “I see this as a joint award for ourselves, our extended design team, our client Waterford City and County Council, our contractor, and the very supportive Tramore Town Centre Management group. We all worked together to deliver a much-needed public outdoor space in the old centre of Tramore town.”

Following investment of €5.1m from the Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF), Waterford City and County Council, and Uisce Éireann, the project has transformed the heart of Tramore Town into a vibrant, connected outdoor pedestrianised space, where people can once again stroll, meet, sit, converse and connect, overlooking Tramore Bay.

The design places a strong emphasis on pedestrians over cars, resulting in increased walking among both locals and visitors. This has led to numerous positive outcomes, includ­ing improved physical health, a cleaner environment and a more robust local economy.

The addition of custom Irish limestone seating acts as an outdoor amphitheatre, attracting children who engage with the space while their parents queue and chat at the popular bakery and coffee shops that now line the area.

The seating also provides a resting spot for those who may find the steep topography challenging. Furthermore, this space serves as a pop-up performance area, hosting local parades and festi­vals.

Morris Conway, Acting Senior Architect with Waterford City and County Council said, “This project has created a vibrant town centre, with its bright and open reclaimed pedestrian area. The stepped seating and cascading paving are as practical as they are eye-catching, creating an impressive focal point, attracting visitors and increasing dwell time of those who visit the area.”

The Tramore Public Realm project was awarded a Commendation at the annual Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) awards in 2023.

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Expat Taxes wins Waterford National Enterprise Award

National Enterprise Award Winner_Waterford 2024

Expat Taxes Ltd., a Waterford company specialising in tax for expatriates has been named as Waterford’s Enterprise Award winner and will go on to represent Waterford at the 24th National Enterprise Awards which will take place in the Mansion House, Dublin, on Thursday May 23rd 2024.

The announcement was made as part of the Local Enterprise Office’s Local Enterprise Week at the Mayor’s Parlour on Friday March 8th.

Expat Taxes Ltd. is a boutique Irish tax practice that simplifies taxes for people moving to or from Ireland. As Chartered Tax Advisers and Chartered Accountants with over 15 years’ experience they are experts in expatriate tax. It offers tax advisory and tax compliance services. Its aim is to make taxes less stressful and to help its clients navigate the complex work of international tax.

The aim of the National Enterprise Awards is to spotlight, showcase, encourage and support a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship in our communities in Ireland, to promote entrepreneurship and to celebrate the achievement of the core client portfolio of the LEOs.

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway who presented the award was impressed with the winner, saying, “Expat Taxes represents the new outward looking Waterford. As our city and county continues to grow, progress and attract investment, companies such Expat provide a valuable and seamless service to those thinking of locating to Waterford and Ireland.

“I’d like to wish Stephanie and her team the best of luck as they go on to represent Waterford at the National Enterprise Finals.”

Gareth Evans, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford, congratulated the winners, “The National Enterprise Awards are very much a benchmark for excellence for small businesses across the country.  Expat Taxes has demonstrated its calibre, innovation and resourcefulness and is a very deserving winner of the Waterford award. To be so successful after just a few shorts years in business is a real achievement and I’m sure they will go on to represent us well on the national stage.”

Stephanie Wickham, owner, was obviously delighted to win the award, “After winning the Waterford Digital Award last year we know how important they can be for our profile. We’re really looking forward to representing Waterford on the national stage in May and would like to thank the team at the LEO for all their help over the years.”

The other four finalists in the Waterford NEAs were:

  • Euro Tachograph Solutions Ltd
  • CMC Hygea Ltd
  • Reso Health Ltd
  • Uoto Ltd

The Waterford Enterprise Awards took place as part of a very successful Local Enterprise Week programme of events.  There were over 300 events which took place across the country, run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices from March 4th to 8th.

Joint National Housing Conference opened in Waterford

The Joint National Housing Conference, in association with the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI), the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) and Waterford City and County Council’s (WCCC) Housing Department opened in Waterford this week.

The national housing conference was first held in 1969 and every year since has explored the challenges, opportunities and innovations in housing design and delivery.

The theme for the two day conference was Diversifying and Expanding our Housing Delivery, with particular focus on emerging trends in planning, urbanism and architecture.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway welcomed attendees to the Tower Hotel, Waterford saying, “I am delighted to welcome our esteemed speakers and guests to Waterford, Ireland’s Oldest City, for this two day event, who will no doubt inform, challenge and educate us all.

“This conference brings together planners, architects, academics, those in the construction industry and local authority housing teams who, day-in day-out, strive to create and shape sustainable, scalable communities, tackle dereliction and vacancy, and reinvigorate our villages, towns and cities.”

As a joint venture between the RIAI, WCCC and DHLGH, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD said, “Over the years this conference has provided a strong networking and learning opportunity for architects, planners, and developers in the private sector to discuss emerging trends in the provision of both Social, Affordable and Private housing.

“It represents a valuable opportunity for them to meet with their professional counterparts and with housing practitioners in Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, as well as with the professional advisors and colleagues from my own department. The success of Housing for All is dependent on us all – public and private sector – working together, and events like this are key to that collaboration.”

Speaking at the conference RIAI President Sean Mahon said, “This conference offers a unique opportunity for the built environment professionals in the public and private sectors to come together to discuss and develop innovative ideas for housing delivery. Housing is critical infrastructure required to sustain human well-being. Architects have a leadership role in driving innovation in housing design solutions the conference is an excellent opportunity to hear about new models and solutions that exist for housing delivery, but also to discuss the challenges impeding progress.”

The conference which was attended by architects and planners from across Ireland, the UK and Europe, addressed topics such as master planning, modern methods of construction, placemaking, repurposing buildings and policy context through a series of panel discussions.

Paul Johnston, Acting Director of Services for Planning at Waterford City and County Council spoke about how Waterford is tackling vacancy and is recognised as a national leader for its proactive efforts to bring urban vacant residential properties back into use.  Under Rebuilding Ireland and Housing for All, the local authority is on track to bring over 700 previously vacated dwellings back into use.

Acting Senior Architects with Waterford City and County Council, Walter Holden and Morris Conway took part in a panel discussion on Town Centre First, a government initiative that aims to create town centres as vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work, and visit, while also functioning as the social, cultural and recreational hub for local communities. The public realm improvements, varied cultural offerings, and return to use of vacant properties have combined to bring a unique sense of life to the city centre, and this was acknowledged in the Irish Times Best Place to Live Award, recently bestowed to Waterford.

Former Senior Architect with Waterford City and County Council, Rupert Maddock spoke about ‘Learning from Waterford.’  Rupert was recently awarded the RIAI Gandon Medal for his contribution to the advancement of architecture. Transformational public realm projects, spearheaded by Rupert include the Millennium Project, which entailed the design of the William Vincent Wallace Plaza, and the design of John Roberts Square, creating a pedestrianised, decluttered and multi-purpose destination public realm space.

In addition to projects such as the redesign, development and conservation of the People’s Park, the Clock Tower, the Franciscan Friary and Mount Congreve, Rupert’s passion and undoubted forte is the preservation of Waterford’s rich history and heritage.

Under his tenure, Waterford has cultivated an enviable portfolio of museums, under the Waterford Treasures collective, which includes the Medieval Museum, The Bishop’s Palace, The Irish Museum of Time, the Irish Silver Museum and the latest addition, The Irish Wake Museum.

The conference valedictory topic was ‘Towards the Ideal Town in Ireland’ delivered by Professor Daniel Miller, a professor of anthropology at University College London and a visiting professor at UCD.

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Images attached: Noel Browne

2:        Paul Johnston, WCCC Acting Director of Services for Planning, Rupert Maddock, former WCCC Senior Architect, WCCC Acting Senior Architects Walter Holden and Morris Conway

15:      Former Senior Architect with WCCC Rupert Maddock spoke about ‘Learning from Waterford.’

5:        Paul Johnston, WCCC Acting Director of Services for Planning, Gary Falconer and Patricio Harte of CJ Falconer and Associates.

12:      Paul Johnston, WCCC Acting Director of Services for Planning and Noelle Sweeney Housing Agency

Image attached: John Power

DHLGH_RIAI:  Áine Stapleton, Assistant Secretary DHLGH; Graham Doyle, Secretary General at Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; Sean Mahon, RIAI President ; Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway and Kathryn Meghen, RIAI CEO.

Waterford ArtLinks Bursaries awarded

ArtLinks LogoThe ArtLinks partnership of local authorities Arts Offices in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford is pleased to announce that it has awarded over €100,000 to artists in the South East across a broad range of artforms including music, visual arts, literature, theatre, dance, film , traditional arts, opera, circus, street arts and spectacle.

These bursaries for emerging and professional artists are supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and they provide professional development opportunities and supports for artists who are resident in these four counties.

The Arts Offices would like to thank everyone who applied and look forward to the successful recipients undertaking their projects, mentoring, courses and workshops in the coming months.

The Waterford recipients were Louise Bradley, Clashmore/Theatre. Cailean Finn, Dunhill/Visual Arts. Rayleen Clancy, An Rinn/Visual Arts. George Higgs, Villierstown/Music. Ben Hennessy, Annestown/Theatre & Visual Arts. Holly Pickering, Dunhill/Visual Arts. Mae Leahy, Ferrybank/Theatre. Dylan Kennedy, Lismore/Theatre. Julie Cusack, Waterford city/Visual Arts. Sarah Grimes, Waterford city/Music. Róisín Power Hackett, Kill/Literature. Jenny Fennessy, Lismore/Theatre. Rachel Roberts, Waterford city/Visual Arts.

Artists who are resident within the four partner Local Authorities can register for membership free of charge by contacting artlinks.ie@gmail.com for a registration form.

For all ArtLinks enquiries please contact artlinks.ie@gmail.com

Follow @Artlinks.ie on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates.

Waterford’s Mount Congreve Gardens picks up prestigious Building and Design Award

On Friday, March 8th Mount Congreve Gardens was recognised as winner at the Irish Building and Design Awards (IBDA) in the Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Project of the year category.

The awards ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge was a celebration of the best of Irish building and design around the world, recognising best in class, both nationally and internationally.

Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway attended the awards and said, “This is yet more wonderful recognition for the work and vision of Waterford City and County Council, Fáilte Ireland and Mount Congreve Trust, for reinvigorating and breathing life back into ‘one of the great gardens of the world’.

“The gardens, which reopened to the public just over a year ago, have exponentially benefitted the local community and Waterford as a whole.  Visitor numbers have been exceeded in the first year alone, and Waterford Greenway and Waterford Suir Valley Railway, both of which border Mount Congreve Estate have undoubtedly experienced an uplift in visitor numbers too.”

Mount Congreve Gardens was officially opened by Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Catherine Martin in March 2023, following a €7.2 million capital investment from the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF), Waterford City and County Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Mount Congreve Gardens is currently enjoying considerable national and international attention since the newly refurbished house and gardens opened last year.

It clinched the top title in the Supporting Tourism category at the Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government awards, the prestigious international travel publication Condé Nast Traveller made specific reference to Mount Congreve Gardens in their ‘Best Place To Go in the UK & Ireland’ 2024 listing, while the New York Times, when including Waterford as the only Irish destination in its ‘52 Places to go in 2024’ list cited the gardens as the place to ‘top off your Greenway adventure’.

Ray Sinnott, Estate Manager with Mount Congreve Gardens was delighted to receive the award along with the Mayor of Waterford City and County and Paul Flynn, Executive Engineer with Waterford City and County Council, saying, “We are truly delighted to receive this IBDA accolade.  The work to bring the estate to such a high international standard has taken many years of commitment, resolve and dedication.  To be recognised by peers makes it even more special for everyone involved.”

The award recognised the transformation of the Mount Congreve Gardens which underwent an extensive renovation which included a carefully designed and constructed retail, café and visitor centre incorporated into the existing courtyard. In addition, improvements to the gardens, its paths and boundaries were carried out to include improved wayfinding, refurbishment of the various garden ‘Follies’ and an audio-visual presentation giving the historic narrative of the house, gardens and owner.

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Image l-r:

Paul Flynn Waterford City and County Council, Peter Bluett of Bluett & O’Donoghue Archtitects, Ray Sinnott Mount Congreve, Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Conway, Robert Fox of Frank Fox & Associates, Shane McCullough of McCullough Lupton Quinn and Sandra Conway.

Stiúideo Shortcourse wins Student Enterprise Awards

Stiúideo Shortcourse wins Student Enterprise Awards

Maebh Dimond from Gaelcholáiste Phort Láirge wins Best Student Enterprise in Waterford and qualifies for the National Student Enterprise Finals.

Stiúideo Shortcourse, winner of the Senior award, created, produced and sold local greeting cards providing creative new designs in Irish with recycled materials and crisp card designs for special occasions. Stiúideo Shortcourse’s key focal point is promoting the Irish language through sustainable sources. Maebh, from Gaelcholáiste Phort Láirge took part in the Local Enterprise Office’s Student Enterprise Awards on Tuesday March 5th at the Tower Hotel in Waterford City.

The Waterford Student Enterprise Programme started in September with 1,000 students from 14 schools in Waterford City and County. They created their businesses, developed, branded, promoted and sold. But most importantly they learned what it felt like to run their own business.

Finally, 100 students represented 11 schools in Waterford County and competed in the Waterford Student Enterprise Final on Tuesday March 5th at the Tower Hotel in Waterford City. 36 businesses in total, shortlisted from a total of 350 who commenced the competition in September, presented their business plans and challenged for the top prize in the county section of the Student Enterprise Programme. Stiúideo Shortcourse will represent Waterford at the National Finals on May 9th, taking on 34 other businesses, the best of the rest of the country.

Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, the final took place during Local Enterprise Week. The competition is the most successful programme of its kind in the country. 27,000 budding entrepreneurs from 380 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices.

National finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays before taking part in a series of judging interviews.  The judging panels take numerous factors into account, such as business reporting, innovation, market research, risk management and finances.

Praising the teachers and local schools involved in the programme, Gareth Evans, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme encourages and enables students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set. By fostering an enterprising culture in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are working with teachers and schools to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Further information about May’s National Finals is available through www.studententerprise.ie, which also has free resources and video tutorials for students and teachers for the 2023/2024 programme.

For more information, please contact your Local Enterprise Office at 35 the Mall in Waterford City or Civic Offices in Dungarvan. Alternatively, you can email info@leo.waterfordcouncil.ie .

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