INNOVATIVE plans to revitalise a struggling Donegal village are starting to bear fruit.
It follows confirmation that three parties are now benefiting from incentives to attract new business in Creeslough.
Two years have passed since Creeslough born cousins Charles and Martin Sweeney first unveiled their ambitious plans to offer rent-free shops and office space to encourage new entrepreneurs into their home village.
At that time the pair took out a full-page ad in the Donegal News urging people searching for high return business opportunities to make contact.
Speaking from his home in Perth, Australia, yesterday Charles Sweeney (38) said he was delighted to see that three parties are now benefiting from the incentives – namely the big green shed beside McNultys Pub – Main Street where the Creeslough Community Association operates from and the Creeslough Hardware and the Corncutters Rest on Main Street which are both set to re-open shortly.
“We have just leased the Creeslough Hardware which I believe is great news. The tenant is Shae Potter of Donegal Log Cabins Ltd. and he will be using the premises as a showroom and stores. It’s bringing jobs and some added life back into the village,” he said.
Mr Sweeney, who is currently Executive General Manager at the engineering company Civmec based in Perth, said he has been overwhelmed by the support and interest they have received.
“Starting a business isn’t an easy task at all. It often requires a lot of time, courage, determination, perseverance and a lot of money. Martin and I were super excited when we heard about his expansion plans and how he has now set it in motion. I am confident that he will be successful. Best wishes on his awesome venture,” he added.
“They plan to open their doors in mid-June while work is also progressing with a new business in the old Corncutters Rest premises. We are also delighted to have been able to help the Creeslough Community Association by donating the use of one of the properties to them. This group is a great example of community spirit in the town,” he said.
Regarding Lafferty’s Supermarket, Mr Sweeney said several very interested parties have come forward in the last few weeks and he remains hopeful that the premises will be reopened in the near future.
In 2015, Charles and Martin set up a company in Ireland, called the Perdon Group, and they purchased a lot of property in Letterkenny and Creeslough. Among the properties they bought in Creeslough were Creeslough Hardware, Lafferty’s Supermarket and the Corncutters Rest on the main street.
In an attempt to attract more interest, Mr Sweeney are his cousin were offering up to a €50,000 incentive for each new business opened.
“To help kick-start these businesses, we are offering up to a €50,000 incentive for each new business opened, we are flexible on the terms and forms of incentives such as: the provision of a substantial rent free period to the tenant; a cash payment to the tenant as a contribution to renovations or its fit out; payment of their removal costs and payment for the surrender of an existing lease.
“Also, as previously discussed, it’s important for us that any new business is not directly competing with an existing business. We encourage them to develop products and services in their business that meet the needs of the local community, but different from, the competition,” he said.
“We already have some great businesses in our village and wish to congratulate and thank these hard-working entrepreneurs, as I myself enjoy visiting many of them on my holidays.
“People are very hospitable like those behind Rose’s Bar and Kitchen, Happy Camper Café and Gusto’s Takeaway, Huckleberry Coffee Shop, McNulty’s Bar, Log Cabin Car etc.
“It is also great to see the continued growth of these business such as the current extension to the Wild Atlantic Camp which will bring more and more people to our town.”
Mr Sweeney added that anyone interested in the new business opportunities can contact Henry Mc Cahey, DNG Boyce Gallagher, on 086 8216532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.