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Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) Grant

As part of Budget 2024, the Government signed off on a package of €257m for the Increased Cost of Business (ICOB) Grant as a vital measure for small and medium businesses. Waterford City and County Council, funded through Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), will manage the rollout of the grant to qualifying businesses.

Eligible businesses will receive a once-off grant payment. The amount of the grant payable to eligible businesses is based on the value of the Commercial Rates bill the business received in 2023. However, it is not a Commercial Rates waiver and businesses should continue to pay their Commercial Rates bill as normal.

What is the purpose of the grant?

The grant is available to qualifying businesses as a contribution towards the rising costs faced by businesses. The grant is intended to aid businesses but is not intended to directly compensate for all increases in wages, or other costs, for every business.

How much is the grant?

The grant is based on the value of the Commercial Rates bill received by an eligible business in 2023.

– For qualifying businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rate bill of <€10,000, the ICOB grant will be paid at a rate of 50% of the business’s Commercial Rate bill for 2023.

– For qualifying businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rate bill of between €10,000 and €30,000, the ICOB grant will be €5,000.

– Businesses with a 2023 Commercial Rates bill greater than €30,000 are not eligible to receive an ICOB grant.

What businesses are eligible to receive the grant?

The following are the main qualifying criteria:

  • Your business must be a commercially trading business currently operating from a property that is commercially rateable.
  • Your business must have been trading on 1st February 2024 and you must intend to continue trading for at least three months from the date you verify your information.
  • You must provide confirmation of your bank details.
  • Your business must be rates compliant. Businesses in performing payment plans may be deemed to be compliant.
  • Your business must be tax compliant and must possess a valid Tax Registration Number (TRN).

Please note that Waterford City and County Council reserves the right to claw back any grant payment which is later found to be incorrect. This includes any circumstances such as error by the recipient business or the local authority making the payment, or where a business makes a false declaration of eligibility.

How soon can businesses avail of the grant?

An online system is being developed to manage the submission of essential information. Waterford City and County Council will write shortly to businesses with further details, including how to register and how to submit information online. The system is expected to be available in mid-March.

What is the closing date?

The closing date for businesses to confirm eligibility and to upload verification details will be 1st May 2024.

Where can I find out further information?

Further correspondence and guidance will be issued to commercially rateable businesses in the next few weeks. In addition, an FAQ will be available online when the grant scheme opens. You should refer to this guidance and FAQ prior to making your submission.

If you have queries regarding your Commercial Rates account including outstanding balances, contact Waterford City and County Council at rates@waterfordcouncil.ie. Our team are happy to discuss any balances outstanding on your rates and what steps can be taken to ensure compliance with the scheme.

Waterford flying the Purple Flag in 2023

This week Waterford received the coveted Purple Flag accreditation, which represents the gold standard of the management of evening and night-time economies.

n recognition of Waterford’s commitment to creating a dynamic, secure, and vibrant evening and night-time economy, the Purple Flag accreditation process is similar to the Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches.

This prestigious award highlights Waterford’s blend of entertainment, dining, and culture, all the while ensuring the safety and well-being of residents, and visitors in the evening and night-time economy, between the hours of 5pm and 5am.

As part of the accreditation process a full assessment was held in Waterford on July 21st.

The judging panel was welcomed by Metropolitan Mayor, Cllr. Jody Power to the Vestibule in the Theatre Royal, which was followed by a walk about of the city to showcase the amenities and diverse offerings of Waterford.

The walkabout featured some of the city’s key cultural amenities including a tour of the Theatre Royal and the Irish Wake Museum.  The panel also visited key venues which exemplify supporting an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out, including Dooleys Hotel, Tullys, Momo, The Apple Market, The Woodman, Momo, Zanzibar and The Reg.

Jim ‘Flash’ Gordan, Proprietor of Revolution and Chair of the Purple Flag Committee said, “We are delighted that Waterford has, once again, received Purple Flag accreditation.

“In essence, it consolidates Waterford City’s vibrant, bustling and safe night-time offering.  It’s important for tourists and locals to not only have a great choice of pubs, restaurants, cultural amenities and social venues to experience, but also to feel safe in their surroundings.”

Julie Walsh, Purple Flag Administrator with Waterford City and County Council added, “The success of the evening and night-time economy is vital to Waterford’s economic success. This award recognises that Waterford has a strong and diverse offering, making it a popular city destination.

“The Purple Flag project brings local businesses and stakeholders together who work closely with the Local Authority and An Garda Síochána to promote Waterford.  I would like to extend our gratitude to them for their invaluable insight and assistance in the application and assessment process.”

Waterford’s submission also recognised the vital work of the Water Marine Search & Rescue, the strong and diverse partnership between local businesses and stakeholder groups, and the successful use of the distinctive quarters and the public realm.

There are one hundred Purple Flag destinations around the globe across the UK, Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia. This includes world renowned tourist destinations to small market towns.

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  • Bishops Palace illuminated in purple
  • Julie Walsh, WCCC PF Administrator, ‘Hoot’, Purple Flag Assessors, Ian Lacey and Kevin O’Sullivan
  • John Grubb of Every Event discussing Waterford’s NTE and festival offering with Purple Flag assessors, and ‘Hoot’
  • Rosemary Ryan, Curator Manager (Acting) of Waterford Treasures discussing the museum offering with Purple Flag assessors
  • Michael Quinn Waterford City and County Council, Avril Bowe Waterford Chamber of Commerce, Waterford Metropolitan Mayor Cllr. Jody Power, Julie Walsh Waterford City and County Council , Jim ‘Flash’ Gordan Purple Flag Chair, Eddie Mulligan Waterford City and County Council.

Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme 2023 – Open

Rates Energy Discount of 8%

In 2022 almost 1,000 businesses across Waterford took advantage of the Rates Energy Discount Scheme. The Rates Energy Discount Scheme was introduced to encourage businesses to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, joining householders, the local authority and many more in the county.
Businesses across the world are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions, reduce fuel and save money. For the environment and for their bottom line.
In Waterford, businesses account for 24.6% of emissions, the majority of those coming from energy use.
Taking Climate Action is something we must all do in society, the Council itself is working towards a goal of a 51% carbon emissions reduction by 2030.
The Rates Energy Discount Scheme is continuing in 2023, with businesses being asked to go one step further and to complete an energy audit or an energy assessment. An audit or assessment will help your business to identify energy saving opportunities.
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICANTS:
  • Rates Customer Account Number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
  • LAID number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
Either:
  • Proof of Energy Audit conducted for the business by an external consultant within the last 5 years – a copy of an invoice as well as the front page will need to be uploaded
or:
  • Applicants without Energy Audit proof will be required to complete Energy Self-Assessment questionnaire designed to help you to identify energy saving opportunities in your business.
  • Your business account IBAN from which your commercial rates are paid.
Eligibility
Businesses whose annual rate bill is less than €10,000 or who operate in the hospitality industry will be eligible to receive a Rates Energy Discount of 8% once they have either uploaded evidence of the Energy Audit to this platform by Friday, September 29th, 2023, or for those who have been unable to secure an audit you can avail of the discount by carrying out an Energy Self-Assessment.

Only rated properties suitable for energy audit are eligible to apply – for example yards with no buildings would not be eligible.

If you have undertaken an Energy Audit, the application should take less than 10 minutes to complete. In the event of Energy Self-Assessment, it will take longer to complete the assessment, just follow the questions to completion.
An audit completed by an external consultant can be used to apply for funding for energy efficiency improvements whereas the Energy Self-Assessment that businesses can complete on this platform cannot be used to apply for further funding.
To avail of the discount accounts must also be fully paid by 23:55 on 29th September 2023 or are in an agreed Direct Debit payment plan. The credit will be applied after the deadline once the requirements have been met.
All businesses who either upload proof of an Energy Audit or complete an Energy Self-Assessment will receive advice from Waterford City and County Council on what they can do next to save energy.
While multiple drafts are allowed, there should only be one complete application submitted per each Rates LAID.
Questions? – please email Climate Action Coordinator at gkennedy@waterfordcouncil.ie
Email Rates related queries to: rates@waterfordcouncil.ie

APPLY: The link to form: https://submit.link/1GC

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Glas Awards Launched!

 

Local Enterprise Office Waterford launches the inaugural Glas Awards, promoting sustainability in business in Waterford.

The awards, in association with Waterford City and County Council aim to recognise and celebrate micro businesses in County Waterford who have made significant advances in bringing green principles into their business model.

Launched by Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway, Acting Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, Brid Kirby, and Climate Action Coordinator with Waterford City and County Council, Gráinne Kennedy, these awards will showcase what Waterford business is doing to adopt sustainability policies, in a practical sense.

The awards are open to small and medium sizes businesses based in Waterford County. The Green Micro Enterprise of the Year is open to all with employees of 10 or less, while the Green SME of the Year is open to those between 11 and 20 employees.

The mayor sees this as another step towards Waterford’s green action targets.  “Waterford has been actively working towards carbon neutrality and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Through policy measures and the implementation of both adaptation and mitigation projects, we can effect real change.

“Every aspect of the community has a role to play, and these awards will highlight and reward the micro businesses who have started to play their part.”

Each winner will receive a cash prize of €2,500 and a themed trophy.

Brid is extremely proud of these new Awards, “We want to recognise the extraordinary contribution and commitment that some Waterford companies now make towards growing a greener future in Waterford’s business environment.

“We have an opportunity to promote the conscientious practices of these Waterford businesses and hopefully encourage more to adopt a similar attitude. A green agenda does not have to increase costs in business. It often increases business, while saving money in the long run. It is an investment in their business and our future.

While Grainne hopes they will inspire other businesses, “We hope that this event connects companies and teams from a diverse variety of business sectors to exchange ideas and celebrate achievements in sustainability. We are proud to again be part of an event that highlights leadership and sustainability in green practices in Waterford.”

The entry portal  www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/Training-Events/Competitions/Waterford-Glas-Awards-2023.html is now open on Waterford’s Local Enterprise Office website and remains so until 20th September 2023. The Glas Awards Final which will be held in Grow HQ, Waterford City on 17th October 2023.

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

Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme 2023 – Open

Rates Energy Discount of 8%

In 2022 almost 1,000 businesses across Waterford took advantage of the Rates Energy Discount Scheme. The Rates Energy Discount Scheme was introduced to encourage businesses to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, joining householders, the local authority and many more in the county.
Businesses across the world are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions, reduce fuel and save money. For the environment and for their bottom line.
In Waterford, businesses account for 24.6% of emissions, the majority of those coming from energy use.
Taking Climate Action is something we must all do in society, the Council itself is working towards a goal of a 51% carbon emissions reduction by 2030.
The Rates Energy Discount Scheme is continuing in 2023, with businesses being asked to go one step further and to complete an energy audit or an energy assessment. An audit or assessment will help your business to identify energy saving opportunities.
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICANTS:
  • Rates Customer Account Number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
  • LAID number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
Either:
  • Proof of Energy Audit conducted for the business by an external consultant within the last 5 years – a copy of an invoice as well as the front page will need to be uploaded
or:
  • Applicants without Energy Audit proof will be required to complete Energy Self-Assessment questionnaire designed to help you to identify energy saving opportunities in your business.
  • Your business account IBAN from which your commercial rates are paid.
Eligibility
Businesses whose annual rate bill is less than €10,000 or who operate in the hospitality industry will be eligible to receive a Rates Energy Discount of 8% once they have either uploaded evidence of the Energy Audit to this platform by Friday, September 29th, 2023, or for those who have been unable to secure an audit you can avail of the discount by carrying out an Energy Self-Assessment.

Only rated properties suitable for energy audit are eligible to apply – for example yards with no buildings would not be eligible.

If you have undertaken an Energy Audit, the application should take less than 10 minutes to complete. In the event of Energy Self-Assessment, it will take longer to complete the assessment, just follow the questions to completion.
An audit completed by an external consultant can be used to apply for funding for energy efficiency improvements whereas the Energy Self-Assessment that businesses can complete on this platform cannot be used to apply for further funding.
To avail of the discount accounts must also be fully paid by 23:55 on 29th September 2023 or are in an agreed Direct Debit payment plan. The credit will be applied after the deadline once the requirements have been met.
All businesses who either upload proof of an Energy Audit or complete an Energy Self-Assessment will receive advice from Waterford City and County Council on what they can do next to save energy.
While multiple drafts are allowed, there should only be one complete application submitted per each Rates LAID.
Questions? – please email Climate Action Coordinator at gkennedy@waterfordcouncil.ie
Email Rates related queries to: rates@waterfordcouncil.ie

APPLY: The link to form: https://submit.link/1GC

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Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme back for 2023

 

                    

As part of Waterford City and County Council’s objective to deliver a carbon neutral Waterford by 2040, the Local Authority is re-introducing its Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme, to support and enable businesses and service providers to transition to carbon neutrality.

Following its success in 2022, which saw 1,000 businesses across Waterford take advantage of the scheme, the Local Authority’s Climate Action team is once again seeking to engage with businesses in an assessment of their energy usage and to identify opportunities for savings and explore the potential of renewable energy.

Businesses are invited to register to complete an energy audit or an energy self-assessment.  An audit or assessment will help businesses identify energy saving opportunities and avail of an 8% rates reduction.

Climate Action Officer with Waterford City and County Council, Grainne Kennedy said, “In Waterford, businesses account for 24.6% of emissions, the majority of those coming from energy use.  By being more aware of energy saving opportunities and exploring renewable energy options, businesses can not only save money, but they can effect real change by adopting a sustainability strategy and reducing carbon emissions.

“Collectively, these changes have the potential to achieve a positive impact for businesses across Waterford.

“1,000 businesses in Waterford undertook energy awareness training last year and made real changes such as transforming operations through the energy saving opportunities that were identified, thus, increasing resilience and gaining the benefits of the green transition.”

One such business to effect real change is Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen.  Taking a multi-faceted approach, Molly’s Butchers Ardkeen has introduced a wide range of sustainable changes such as ensuring all of their outgoing packaging is either recyclable or compostable where possible, and the company has worked in partnership with BioBag Ireland in developing a new beeswax alternative to clingfilm, thus closing the circle on compostable packs.

According to Keith Molloy, Proprietor of Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen, “We incentivise customers to bring their own reusable containers when buying their meat to avoid the need for single-use bags and containers.  Our customers can currently save 25% on their order when they bring their own container.  Having engaged qualified energy consultants, all storage and display refrigeration have been upgraded and all our light fittings have also been upgraded to LED.”

Keith added, “Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen has been making changes in our business in line with our commitment to sustainability for over 10 years.  Through our sustainability efforts, we hope to inspire other businesses across all industries to adopt small changes that really can make a big difference.”

The scheme is open to businesses whose annual rate bill is less than €10,000 or who operate in the hospitality industry. These businesses will be eligible to receive a rates energy discount of 8% once they have either uploaded evidence of the Energy Audit by Friday, September 29th, 2023.  For those who have been unable to secure an audit, they can still avail of the discount by carrying out an Energy Self-Assessment.

To avail of the discount accounts must also be fully paid by 23:55pm on 29th September 2023 or are in an agreed Direct Debit payment plan. The credit will be applied after the deadline once the requirements have been met.

Businesses can register by visiting https://waterford.submit.com/show/151

Image attached:

John Traynor, Teresa Clancy, Bridget Kennedy, Hazel Molloy and Johnny Byrnes of Molloy’s Butchers Ardkeen

Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme 2023 – Open

Rates Energy Discount of 8%

In 2022 almost 1,000 businesses across Waterford took advantage of the Rates Energy Discount Scheme. The Rates Energy Discount Scheme was introduced to encourage businesses to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, joining householders, the local authority and many more in the county.
Businesses across the world are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions, reduce fuel and save money. For the environment and for their bottom line.
In Waterford, businesses account for 24.6% of emissions, the majority of those coming from energy use.
Taking Climate Action is something we must all do in society, the Council itself is working towards a goal of a 51% carbon emissions reduction by 2030.
The Rates Energy Discount Scheme is continuing in 2023, with businesses being asked to go one step further and to complete an energy audit or an energy assessment. An audit or assessment will help your business to identify energy saving opportunities.
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICANTS:
  • Rates Customer Account Number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
  • LAID number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
Either:
  • Proof of Energy Audit conducted for the business by an external consultant within the last 5 years – a copy of an invoice as well as the front page will need to be uploaded
or:
  • Applicants without Energy Audit proof will be required to complete Energy Self-Assessment questionnaire designed to help you to identify energy saving opportunities in your business.
  • Your business account IBAN from which your commercial rates are paid.
Eligibility
Businesses whose annual rate bill is less than €10,000 or who operate in the hospitality industry will be eligible to receive a Rates Energy Discount of 8% once they have either uploaded evidence of the Energy Audit to this platform by Friday, September 29th, 2023, or for those who have been unable to secure an audit you can avail of the discount by carrying out an Energy Self-Assessment.

Only rated properties suitable for energy audit are eligible to apply – for example yards with no buildings would not be eligible.

If you have undertaken an Energy Audit, the application should take less than 10 minutes to complete. In the event of Energy Self-Assessment, it will take longer to complete the assessment, just follow the questions to completion.
An audit completed by an external consultant can be used to apply for funding for energy efficiency improvements whereas the Energy Self-Assessment that businesses can complete on this platform cannot be used to apply for further funding.
To avail of the discount accounts must also be fully paid by 23:55 on 29th September 2023 or are in an agreed Direct Debit payment plan. The credit will be applied after the deadline once the requirements have been met.
All businesses who either upload proof of an Energy Audit or complete an Energy Self-Assessment will receive advice from Waterford City and County Council on what they can do next to save energy.
While multiple drafts are allowed, there should only be one complete application submitted per each Rates LAID.
Questions? – please email Climate Action Coordinator at gkennedy@waterfordcouncil.ie
Email Rates related queries to: rates@waterfordcouncil.ie

APPLY: The link to form: https://submit.link/1GC

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Local Artists set for First Flight!

 

In Spring of this year, the Local Enterprise Office Waterford invited submissions from artists and small craft businesses to apply for the First Flight Enterprise programme at the Kite Design Studio in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle.

This year’s successful candidates are Michelle Dunne (Strong Roots Jewellery), Lisa Hodge (Totes Upcycled) and Tanya Dobbyn (Clayful Creations by Tanya).

Kite Design Studio is an innovative space based in Waterford City and designed to enable the sharing of knowledge, resources and facilities for craft businesses.  Through an ethos of collaboration where businesses can connect support and grow, coworking spaces offer you the opportunity to bring structure to your day while increasing productivity and is a great alternative to working from home.

First introduced in 2013, this year’s First Flight programme provides a professional workspace, mentoring and practical business advice to creatives in a bustling, collaborative co-working space for six months commencing in June 2023.

To date, dozens of small craft businesses, artists and graduates of Waterford VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme) have availed of First Flight placements, enabling them to develop their businesses commercially.

Michelle Dunne is one of those selected for this year’s First Flight placement. Michelle, originally from Tramore, now living in Ferrybank, is an artist and metalworker, and is planning to make the most of this opportunity. “The craft industry can be a lonely job, so places like Kite Design Studios are extremely important. Designers working alongside each other, inspires and increases knowledge in the whole design process.”

Jamie Whitty, Business Advisor with LEO Waterford said, “Over the years we have seen some inspirational artists and small craft businesses travel through this programme since 2013.”

As First Flight co-ordinator with the LEO she sees the benefit of the programme, “Waterford’s tradition in the arts and abundance of artistic talent cannot be denied, be it fashion designers, sculptors, jewellery makers or crystal craftspeople.  The First Flight programme gives talented individuals the resources and assistance to cultivate their businesses and gain from the experience of their peers in a shared creative space.”

If you are an artist or small craft business and would like to avail of a dedicated workspace, mentoring and business advice, speak to your Local Enterprise Office about the First Flight Enterprise programme. Alternatively visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/ or call into Local Enterprise Office Waterford at 35, The Mall.

 

Photo by David Murphy Studio:

Tanya Dobbyn (Clayful Creations by Tanya), Lisa Hodge (Totes Upcycled), Jamie Whitty (Business Advisor with LEO Waterford) and Michelle Dunne (Strong Roots Jewellery).

Commercial Rates Energy Discount Scheme 2023 – Open

Rates Energy Discount of 8% 

In 2022 almost 1,000 businesses across Waterford took advantage of the Rates Energy Discount Scheme. The Rates Energy Discount Scheme was introduced to encourage businesses to play their part in reducing carbon emissions, joining householders, the local authority and many more in the county.
Businesses across the world are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions, reduce fuel and save money. For the environment and for their bottom line.
In Waterford, businesses account for 24.6% of emissions, the majority of those coming from energy use.
Taking Climate Action is something we must all do in society, the Council itself is working towards a goal of a 51% carbon emissions reduction by 2030.
The Rates Energy Discount Scheme is continuing in 2023, with businesses being asked to go one step further and to complete an energy audit or an energy assessment. An audit or assessment will help your business to identify energy saving opportunities.
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICANTS:
  • Rates Customer Account Number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
  • LAID number (your account number is displayed on your annual rates invoice).
Either:
  • Proof of Energy Audit conducted for the business by an external consultant within the last 5 years – a copy of an invoice as well as the front page will need to be uploaded
or:
  • Applicants without Energy Audit proof will be required to complete Energy Self-Assessment questionnaire designed to help you to identify energy saving opportunities in your business.
  • Your business account IBAN from which your commercial rates are paid.
Eligibility
Businesses whose annual rate bill is less than €10,000 or who operate in the hospitality industry will be eligible to receive a Rates Energy Discount of 8% once they have either uploaded evidence of the Energy Audit to this platform by Friday, September 29th, 2023, or for those who have been unable to secure an audit you can avail of the discount by carrying out an Energy Self-Assessment.

Only rated properties suitable for energy audit are eligible to apply – for example yards with no buildings would not be eligible.

If you have undertaken an Energy Audit, the application should take less than 10 minutes to complete. In the event of Energy Self-Assessment, it will take longer to complete the assessment, just follow the questions to completion.
An audit completed by an external consultant can be used to apply for funding for energy efficiency improvements whereas the Energy Self-Assessment that businesses can complete on this platform cannot be used to apply for further funding.
To avail of the discount accounts must also be fully paid by 23:55 on 29th September 2023 or are in an agreed Direct Debit payment plan. The credit will be applied after the deadline once the requirements have been met.
All businesses who either upload proof of an Energy Audit or complete an Energy Self-Assessment will receive advice from Waterford City and County Council on what they can do next to save energy.
While multiple drafts are allowed, there should only be one complete application submitted per each Rates LAID.
Questions? – please email Climate Action Coordinator at gkennedy@waterfordcouncil.ie
Email Rates related queries to: rates@waterfordcouncil.ie
APPLY: The link to form: https://submit.link/1GC 

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Another Successful Year for Waterford Council’s Partnership with Dungarvan College

Another Successful Year for Waterford City and County Council’s Partnership with Dungarvan College in association with Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) Schools’ Business Partnership Programme

Waterford City and County Council was delighted to continue its partnership with Dungarvan College, facilitated by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) for the 2022/23 School Year.

Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI), through its Schools’ Business Partnership, partners schools with businesses and organisations and is aimed at informing and empowering second level students and introducing them to the world of work.

This year under the programme a group of students from 2nd Year in Dungarvan College gained insights into the variety of roles in Waterford City & County Council from hearing “a day in my working life” stories from a number of staff carrying out some of the many different roles in the Council, from trade roles to firefighters to web designers and librarians.  Through this engagement the students heard about potential career paths that could be open to them through school completion.

Waterford City and County Council also delivered classroom sessions on Health & Safety and Climate Action, topics that will have life-long relevance for this age group in their personal and professional lives.  This is the first year where sessions were delivered in the classroom as this programme commenced during the pandemic and has evolved from there.

As part of the programme, the students and their teachers took a day-trip to visit some of the sites managed by the Local Authority to see as well as hear about the many projects and services delivered by Council staff.

The first stop was Waterford City Fire Station where the students were given a tour of the station and got to try on uniforms and apparatus used by the Fire Service in responding to incidents. The group were intrigued by the alarm and response systems as well as the underground tunnels used for training. This visit definitely whet the appetite for many of the group for a career in the Fire Services.

From there the next stop was City Hall where the group were greeted by Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John O’Leary.  Cllr O’Leary spoke to the group about his job as an elected representative, how he gets voted in and the onus that is on him to represent the people from his area. Cllr O’Leary also spoke about the history of City Hall and its surroundings.  After lunch in Kilmeaden, the group met with the Council’s Trails Officer Johnny Brunnock, who led them on a walk along the new section of the Waterford Greenway.  Mr. Brunnock chatted with the group about what is involved in making a tourism product out of the beautiful natural tracks and trails we have in this County and the development of new ones also. He explained how much of his role revolves around working with local communities and also trying to secure funding sources to enhance Waterford’s trail offering

In the recent wrap up session at Dungarvan College on May 18th, the students involved did the talking and delivered a comprehensive presentation on their programme learnings and ways in which they have benefitted from the programme.

Speaking at the wrap-up session, Helen Hogan from Dungarvan College extended her thanks to Karen Hallahan and Claire Flavin of Waterford City and County Council and to Alice Kavanagh from BITCI for their enthusiasm and engagement around this programme.  She added the students had been given opportunities to gain insights into potential careers previously unknown to them and this will give them food for thought as they complete their second level studies and start to think in terms of career choice.  Waterford City and County Council facilitators Karen Hallahan and Claire Flavin said the Council was delighted to be involved with this programme, hailing it as beneficial to all stakeholders involved.

Waterford City and County Council have previously worked on successful BITC partnerships with secondary schools in Waterford City as part of Transition Year Programmes.  Nationally BITC has developed hundreds of partnerships, involving over 40,000 students across Ireland.  In its involvement in this programme, Waterford City and County Council joins a line-up of renown with companies including KPMG, Mazars, State Street, Irish Life, Davy, KBC all involved in school partnerships across the country.

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Waterford City and County Council opens Urban Façade Improvement Scheme

Waterford City and County Council is inviting submissions for the Urban Façade Improvement Scheme 2023

urban_facade_grant_waterford_2023

The pilot scheme has been introduced by the Local Authority’s Economic Development Department to assist in improving the presentations of buildings in notable areas of Waterford City Centre, Tramore Town Centre and Dungarvan Town Centre.

Eligible properties will be awarded 50% of the costs of improvement works to upper and lower floors up to a maximum allocation of €2,000.

Michael Quinn, Director of Services for Economic Development, Waterford City and County Council said, “The purpose of the scheme is to give assistance to those with properties situated on main thoroughfares and within notable areas of these three districts, to enhance the façade of the properties and make improvements to building exteriors that will augment the presentation of these areas.

“Through collective participation, the Urban Façade Improvement Scheme has the potential to boost the vibrancy of these urban centres and create a more attractive, inviting environment for residents, visitors, and shoppers to enjoy.

“The grant must be used for the repair and improvement of all or any part of a building that is visible from the street. It can be for something as simple as repairing and cleaning guttering, removing redundant wiring and alarm boxes or painting and cleaning the exterior of the property.

“Overall, the scheme is applicable to residents and businesses in these centres to help improve not just their own building, but also enhance the character of their areas.”

There is limited funding for this scheme so it is recommended that those who wish to participate apply before all funds are allocated. Applicants will require two quotes for the works and permission from the property owner where necessary before they are approved.

For further information or to apply to the Urban Façade Improvement Scheme visit https://waterford.submit.com/show/141