2.4 Employment and Economy
2.4.1 Industry & Enterprise
Fiddown is advantageously located for employment sources with access to good infrastructure and proximity to Waterford Port, and the main Waterford-Limerick road.
The Community Enterprise Centre, which was built through the combined efforts of local community groups, semi-state and state agencies provides a valuable facility to the village and is currently occupied by T. Bulter Engineering, Oldcourt Saddlery, GNC Ger Norris Construction and Plumbing Solutions.
Also operating in Fiddown are Merry’s Garage, and Morris Oil; the latter has an office in the village centre and occupies prominent frontage along the bridge and river banks.
Located approximately 1km north-west of the village is the premises of O’ Shea Bros. Ltd. at Ardclone; this business is involved in the storage and distribution of vegetables. Permission has recently been granted for the expansion of the business with the construction of a distribution warehouse and loading docks.
In County Waterford Clonmore Concrete Ltd. is located approximately 1.4km south-west of the village along the regional road to Waterford.
The Fiddown Local Area Plan 2003 included provision for industrial zoning to the north-western edge of the village. Piltown Engineering constructed and operated premises on these lands and permissions were granted for a V.T.N. test centre and also, through a material contravention of the plan, for a factory unit for manufacturing and storage purposes. However the latter developments have not been constructed and opportunities exist for industrial developments on these lands.
Any sustainable land-use policy must provide for a balance between the provision of housing and the provision of employment opportunities. If the provision of residentially zoned land exceeds the potential for employment opportunities, or vice versa, this will result in a high level of commuting, which is unsustainable. The creation of employment opportunities should be matched to the growth of the village and its position in the settlement hierarchy. As the growth of the village is to be controlled, similarly, the amount of land to be zoned for employment purposes shall will be aligned with the amount of housing land. In addition to the lands zoned and available for industrial development in this plan, green-field lands zoned for industrial development exists in Piltown with direct access available onto the regional road.
The ‘Existing and General Development’ zoning in the village facilitates a mix of employment uses. The Council will also encourage the creation of community led employment opportunities, similar to the Enterprise Centre. The lands zoned for industrial purposes would be intended to facilitate the setting up or expansion of local enterprise initiatives and should not be used for warehousing/ distribution facilities which would have very low levels of employment relative to floor area and would also have relatively low levels of skills based employment.
The present FAS Community Employment scheme operates in the Piltown and Fiddown areas, and has undertaken work with Piltown GAA, Fiddown Development Association and Iverk Show.
- EE1 – To promote enterprise creation opportunities and initiatives, in line with the growth of Fiddown and to encourage job/employment creation initiatives on appropriately zoned and serviced land.
- EE2 – To support the continuation of the Fás Community Employment Scheme or other equivalent/replacement scheme.
Whilst Fiddown Stores has closed, the village is now served by a shop which incorporates a mini-market, deli-counter and off-licence sales. Above the shop a Chinese Take-Away is now operational.
The Toll Tavern (Meade’s) is the only public house establishment in the village and occupies a prominent position at the junction of the main street and the Rathmore Road.
Fiddown has much potential for the development of tourism, as an historic settlement, situated on the River Suir; however this potential is currently not well developed and opportunities exist for the development of tourist initiatives. In particular the location of the village on the River Suir gives rise to opportunities for water-based recreational activities and the existing amenity area at the site of the Castle could be improved in line with this type of development. In addition the potential exists for the development of a river walk along both the River Suir and the Pil River. Should Morris Oil site be re-developed in the future, this area would be suitable for tourist facilities and water based recreational facilities. The development of a river walk is discussed further under section 2.6 – Amenities and Services.
Agencies that may be of assistance in relation to enterprise and tourism include Barrow-Nore-Suir Rural Development and Kilkenny County Enterprise Board.
Barrow-Nore-Suir Rural Development group encompass the LEADER + and National Rural Development Programme (NRDP); under these programmes grant-aid is available to small enterprises, individuals with a business project and to community groups with either a business or a community beneficial project, if they meet the programmes rural development criteria. Both programmes provide part-funding so applicants are expected to fund a percentage of any project themselves.
Kilkenny County Enterprise Board provide information and advice in relation to starting your own business and advice on how to manage and grow your own business.
EE3 – It is the policy of the Council to facilitate and support the development of Fiddown to encourage uses that are beneficial to the local community and development of tourism in the area.
Questions to consider for Employment and Economy:
Do you agree with this approach, if so, why?
Do you disagree with this approach, if so, why?
What would you like to change?
Are there any other issues that you feel should be considered?
Please submit your answers to these questions or add your comments using the comment box below.
Please also indicate below whether you are making a comment or whether you are making a formal submission to the plan.