Cootehill goes digital
The town of Cootehill is just a couple of years shy of celebrating its 300th anniversary, but last week it leaped forward into the future when it availed of a programme focusing on digitally enabling communities to offer a unique online experience.
Cootehill Chamber of Commerce launched an innovative and interactive online marketplace and tourism portal under the banner of 'Cootehill.ie' with the potential to create a social and commercial digital community for the town.
Cootehill.ie is a “digital gateway” aimed at making Cootehill a dynamic, connected community.
The launch was facilitated by project co-ordinator Cootehill Chamber, Connie Whelan, and Pat Kennedy, CEO of eTownz, the company that created 'Cootehill.ie'. Contributors to the launch were Minister Heather Humphreys; chief executive of Cavan County Council Tommy Ryan; and Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council Sarah O'Reilly.
The project comes to fruition thanks to €37,090 from the 2020 Town & Village Renewal Scheme Accelerated Measure, with Cavan County Council providing additional funding of over €4,000.
Speaking at the launch Cathaoirleach O'Reilly said: “It is an impressive resource and will be invaluable for people of the town, those visiting the town, and those looking to do business there.”
The website will help support and promote local businesses, but also support all aspects of community life in Cootehill: “Cavan and Cootehill are among the first communities in Ireland to embrace the new EU directives on connecting rural businesses through technology. All of us, at Cavan County Council, are proud to have helped make this project a reality and will continue to support the initiative,” Cllr O'Reilly said.
Pat Kennedy, CEO of eTownz, said the site “will focus on high-quality and interactive content, the site seeks to be an exemplar project in Ireland”.
The site includes a community hub showcasing the business directory, clubs and groups, history of Cootehill and local initiatives within the area. The new website also provides a marketplace for Cootehill business owners to sell their products directly from the site.
Mr Kennedy said: “The Cootehill website also displays updates, for example news, upcoming events, noticeboard and a gallery.
“This project was developed as part of a Smart Communities Initiative championed by Cootehill Chamber of Commerce. This project was funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Cavan County Council under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2020. The goal was to create a website that will represent and promote all things good about Cootehill and will act as a focal point for local initiatives.”
Minister Humphreys said it was a wonderful initiative: “I hope many other towns will follow your lead. This can be of great benefit to local communities and establish economic equilibrium.”
The Minister concluded by saying it is now more important than ever to harness the power of digital platforms to ensure community and commercial growth beyond the pandemic.