The historic St David's Castle
How would you feel about a cultural/retail centre in St David’s Castle in Naas?
Or a food hub or brewery in Leinster Mills ?
These are some of the ideas being tossed about in discussions about the future development of Naas as part of URBACT, an EU initiative which enables towns and cities to work together and develop integrated solutions to common urban challenges, by networking, learning from one another’s experiences, drawing lessons and identifying good practices to improve urban policies.
Naas is linked with Dublin for the purposes of the programme, which is financed both by the EU and the Irish government.
Some 317 people were surveyed as part of the initiative about the issues facing Naas and some of the those raised included parking, cycle paths, the development of the canal area, the unopened shopping centre and the need for better signs.
A map of Naas has been created which lists businesses in the town and it will be available locally.
Kildare County Council officials appraised councillors of the work done and they say that a town coordinator needs to be appointed to oversee any changes made.
It was pointed out that a town coordinator exists in Monaghan which has a population much less than half of the population of Naas.
A number of initiatives in Naas have been supported by URBACT including the Wild Food Festival and the Midsummer Arts Festival.
Another proposal being considered is the development of a mobile home park which would open with the aim of attracting some of the many visitors who enter the country via Rosslare to visit Naas.
Another suggestion is the possible linking of the Moat Theatre with the Naas Library and this could lead to an interpretative centre.
Also being considered is the a bike share scheme at Millennium Park, which could bring people from there into Naas town centre at lunchtimes.
The scheme also supported the Me2you gift card scheme launched in Naas late last year and which now has 69 retailers affiliated.
The project plans to use the website www.naas.ie