“No Room for Complacency” Over Vacancy Rates Says Ennis Chamber CEO

Photo (c) Prostock-Studio Getty Images Pro Via Canva.com

The CEO of Ennis Chamber is warning there’s no room for complacency, despite positive commercial vacancy rates.

It follows the publication of a survey from Clare County Council, which has found that Ennis is ‘thriving’ as the social and cultural hub of the county.



Clare County Council’s Planning Department conducted a Retail Health Check in September last year, which surveyed the ground floor use of units in Ennis town centre.


The survey found that retail and retail services accounted for 35% of the total ground floor use of buildings, with leisure services like restaurants, public houses and gyms accounting for 12% and financial and business services making up 7%.

There was an 85% occupancy rate within the town, with only one additional vacant ground floor unit recorded, compared to September 2020.

The local authority says these findings indicate that Ennis is thriving as the commercial, social and cultural hub of the county.

Ennis-based retail lobby group Retail Excellence insists Ennis has fared better than other areas of the country during the pandemic, with the likes of Dublin recording a 70% vacancy rate.

Its Managing Director says retailers have reported strong results in recent months, with staffing the biggest challenge.

But Duncan Graham is warning that many businesses feel they may be standing on a cliff-edge though and fear the rollercoaster they’ve been on for three years won’t end any time soon.

Ennis Chamber is welcoming the steady vacancy rates in Ennis town centre.

But its CEO, Margaret O’Brien says there’s no room for complacency insists it’s vital that all stakeholders keep their finger on the pulse and ensure the town maintains it’s vibrancy.

One Ennis retailer insists that better communication between the local authority and businesses will be crucial, particularly once Public Realm Enhancement Works, which will see O’Connell Street closed to traffic for a number of months, get underway.

Aoife Madden of Madden’s Furniture says the voice of both customers and businesses must be heard, to ensure Ennis continues to thrive.

Meanwhile, Clare County Council has confirmed that pedestrianisation measures in the town will cease until further notice from Sunday.