Why the MBDG was created
Wicklow County Council, Wicklow Local Enterprise Office and local business interests came together as County Wicklow Economic Think Tank (CWETT) to develop an Action Plan aimed at driving economic activity in the County.
This Action Plan proposed the establishment of a Maritime Business Development Group to assess the opportunities to capitalise on the Maritime Infrastructure in County Wicklow.
Aims and membership of the MBDG
The aims of the Marine Business Development Group are to develop a Maritime Strategy for County Wicklow and to progress proposals for the major development of port facilities in the County. Members of the MBDG are invited to provide specific advice and expertise as required to advance the strategy.
The Group meet once per month but meetings may be held more, or less frequently as required. Membership is reviewed on an annual basis.
Wicklow County Council is the planning authority overseeing the forward planning and development of County Wicklow. Renowned for being the Garden of Ireland, Wicklow also enjoys over 60 km of coast.
The Wicklow coastline has four ports and harbours. All four offer many opportunities to enhance and expand the local economy in a sustainable manner as well contribute to the county, regional and national economy. The coastal area of Wicklow supports and sustains important social, economic and environmental functions.
Wicklow County Council (WCC) plays a key role in supporting the social, environmental and economic well-being of County Wicklow and that of the Eastern Midland Region. It is fully committed to promoting sustainable development, both on land and in the marine environment and the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable economy.
The blue economy is an important pillar of the County’s economic development strategy and realising the potential of the County’s maritime assets is of prime importance.
Rapid urbanisation, coastal erosion and the need to accommodate for varied needs and interests, have put significant pressure on the coastal area. It is now recognised that there should be a coordinated approach and integration of sectoral interests to achieve the sustainable development of the coastal and maritime area while fostering blue growth.
In the future, Wicklow could face significant changes with the potential development of marine renewable energy, more specifically wind, following the identification of the Assessment Zone 2 – Wind and Tidal in the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP).
The Local Economic Community Plan (LECP) recognises the need to prepare a maritime strategy for County Wicklow as a means to promote the County’s marine assets in a sustainable manner. Several actions contained in the plan particularly aim at harnessing the potential of the County’s marine assets, either built or natural. It specifically seeks to build on the potential of the County’s ports and harbours to deliver improved marine commercial, tourism and leisure activities.
As a result of this, through a tendering process, Wicklow County Council appointed Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions (http://www.gdgeo.com/) to assist the Council in delivering a Maritime Strategic Review for County Wicklow, with this review now currently underway.
For information on Minutes, Terms of Reference and Membership please select the relevant options on the left side of this page.