January 23rd is the deadline for making submissions to the Draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) Plan, which is being co-ordinated by the Eastern and Midlands Regional Authority (www.emra.ie) which comprises twelve local authorities, including those in Louth, Meath and Dublin. The Plan is a new framework for spatial planning and economic development for the Eastern and Midlands Region and will take a wider view beyond county boundaries of desired outcomes – this is hugely relevant for the Greater Drogheda Area which spans two Local Authorities.

At this critical stage in the development of the Greater Drogheda Area, it is important that local businesses (as well as community and political representatives) assert their vision of Drogheda for the coming decades through this plan. Major issues for Drogheda currently include the town and hinterland being served by two Local Authorities neither of whom have senior management locally to drive forward development with local knowledge.

As Ireland’s largest town, Drogheda is poised to become Ireland’s next city, yet it has no IDA; Enterprise Ireland or LEO offices. Key decisions regarding its future status, including tourism and economic development are being made elsewhere, and with Drogheda’s population divided between two counties and administered by two IDA Regional Offices, there is concern that – with a rapidly growing population – it needs to be given greater priority.

What are the concerns – and opportunities – facing your business/sector that need to be reflected in the RSES Plan ? Be sure to make your submission – however brief – on or before Wednesday next, January 23rd. Full details are contained on www.emra.ie .