Ferrybank Shopping Centre is “being held to ransom” in its bid to secure a Dunnes Stores outlet.
That’s according to Cllr Ger Frisby, who raised the issue at this week’s meeting of Kilkenny County Council.
An ongoing dispute has seen progress on the shopping centre come to a halt.
But Cllr Frisby says the site has been going to waste for too long, noting that “The shopping centre is lying idle there, a good number of years, and there’s a dispute between obviously the developer & Dunnes Stores in relation to going into the unit so I just wanted to find out & try get a detailed response from the executive here, I know they have worked hard & tirelessly on it, they’ve engaged with NAMA who have the loan book on it now at the moment to try get some kind of resolution to it that something can go ahead and the centre won’t be held to ransom, it can open in some guise”.
Cllr Frisby believes that bringing a Dunnes Stores outlet to the area will lead other businesses to follow saying “I just feel that with all that progress that’s happening around and all that work that’s happening, that the shopping centre needs an injection of life so like, look it, on the back of that we need to try get some action in relation to the shopping centre being opened and Dunnes getting in there and obviously if you have a big anchor tenant coming in like that you’re going to get a lot of smaller units wanting to go in on the back of that and get the centre up and running and get it vibrant”.
Cllr Frisby adds that the development could bring great employment to the area saying “It’s ongoing for a good while but we need the shopping centre open now and try and get some more businesses into the area, create more jobs & just get a buzz around that whole area because it is the focal point of Ferrybank itself, the shopping centre, you have your GAA club right behind it, you have your Ferrybank soccer club, you have two or three schools around the area, the centre would be the icing on the cake, to get it open, it’s not if we will but it is when we get it open”.