'Roof' over Main Street proposal back on the table

By dAVID TUCKER

Wexford's Main Street: options for the construction of a 'roof' over the town's main thoroughfare are being examined.
Wexford's Main Street: options for the construction of a 'roof' over the town's main thoroughfare are being examined.

Discussions are taking place between Wexford Chamber and Wexford County Council with regard to constructing a 'roof' along the Main Street, or along part of it, to create 'a shopping mall in the middle of the town'.

'It's part of the vision for Wexford. It is something that is being considered,' said Chamber Chief Executive Madeleine Quirke.

'Whether this be constructed out of glass or another suitable material would have to be looked at in view of both cost and maintenance,' she said, 'I believe that Wexford County Council is currently considering options with assistance from Scott Tallon Walker, the architects who are advising on the Quay Front project.'

'The Chamber believes that this cover or shelter along the Main Street would be a great asset to the town and would provide shelter from inclement weather.

'A shopping mall effectively right in the middle of our town which could only add to the attractiveness of Wexford as a retail destination,' said said.

It's understood that no paricular part of the town has been earmakred so far.

Karl Fitzpatrick, the President of Wexford Chamber, suggested that the 'roof' project could be financed by taking money from the commercial rates' pot.

'Wexford town is in a unique position, with a population of 25,000 people, we don't have a shopping centre in the town. The design of the Main Street lends itself well to an iconic glass roof between the buildings on either side,' Mr Fitzpatrick told this newspaper.

'The town would benefit greatly economically by having a glass roof over the Main Street as it would both weatherproof retailers businesses by attracting more shoppers/tourists into the town on wet days.

'I would like to see Wexford County Council ring fence a percentage of commercial rates for this project, which could be completed over a number of years and phases,' said Mr Fitpatrick.

He said a similar project has been completed in Leeds city centre and has been a great success. It's not the first time that a main street roof has been proposed for Wexford town, however, the last time it was put forward the idea gained little traction within the business community.

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