On Wednesday the 28th of November Ministers, Councillors, Local Authority staff, Bank of Ireland executives and community groups descended on the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny for a gala ceremony to announce the winners of this year’s Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards.

83 cities, towns and villages were present each vying to be named National Enterprise Town of the Year. Letterkenny, Co. Donegal claimed the top spot this year claiming a national cash prize of €20,000. Kells, Co. Meath also won the new Rising Start Award with a cash prize to equal that of the overall winner.

Laois entrant Mountmellick was not to be overlooked taking home a Town Initiatives of the Year Award for the Mountmellick Community Arts Centre. Mountmellick beat off stiff competition in the category to claim a prize alongside; Myshall, Carlow for its ‘Turas Columbanus’, South Regeneration Limerick and the Tait House Community Enterprise for its community garden, Arklow, Co Wicklow for its ‘Town of Gardens’, Clonakilty, Cork for its ‘Friends of Asylum Seekers’ initiative, Thurles, Tipperary for the ‘Cabra Wetlands’ project.

This was a welcome boost for Mountmellick who recently received €100,000 from the Department of Rural and Community Development Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The funding will see a number of enhancements made to the Community Arts Centre over the coming year.

On behalf of Laois County Council and the Business Support Unit we would like to congratulate and convey their thanks to the community groups and people of Mountmellick who took part in showcasing the town and helping Laois to put their best foot forward in the competition which made this award possible.

If you think your town has what it takes to represent Laois in next year’s National Enterprise Town Awards contact the Business Support Unit on: 057 866 4000 or email us at: businesssupport@laoiscoco.ie

A full list of the 2018 winners can be seen on ThinkBusiness.ie

Read more about the Judging day in Mountmellick that lead to the Town Initiative Award

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Photo courtesy of Paul Lalor.