KINSALE has become the first town in Ireland to have its own town co-op that will seek to create a sustainable future for the area with membership open to every single resident of the popular tourist town.
The launch of the Future Kinsale CLG (Company Limited by Guarantee) took place recently at the Carmelite Friary Centre and gave people a chance to become an investor in Kinsale’s future.
Speaking to The Southern Star, Adrian Wistreich of Future Kinsale said that they have been busy since their first public meeting back in January.
‘Future Kinsale will be operated as a town-wide co-op, which we think is the first of its kind in Ireland – as most are either farming-based or very specific to one business like Courtmacsherry’s Community shop for example,’ said Adrian.
‘Future Kinsale will apply for grant aid, engage with (local) government, review business propositions from private investors and community groups. We will also allocate funds from membership subscriptions, co-ordinate projects and build membership.
‘To progress Future Kinsale the board of eight members were introduced to the public at the meeting and they described some of the projects that they have been working on so far which include an e-Scooter scheme for the town and Kinsale Free Wi-Fi.
‘Each main project will result in the formation of subsidiary companies, which will be profit driven and may employ salaried staff, while Future Kinsale is a company limited by guarantee (not for profit) with a voluntary board which will be appointed on an election cycle.’
Adrian added that they offered individual membership, family membership and corporate membership options at the launch and for those who can’t afford a subscription, others can purchase and ‘donate’ memberships.
‘Our objective will be to have all 5,000 residents as members and possibly have a non-resident associate membership category to service the large diaspora worldwide. Each member will have benefits – we will aim to make these tangible – and shared responsibilities to support the co-op.’
However, he added that the core reason for joining Future Kinsale will be to ‘share in the creating of a thriving, sustainable future for the town by sharing costs and voluntary works for projects.’
‘It is hard work but we are all dedicated to making this a long-term success for Kinsale,’ said Adrian.
See www.futurekinsale.home.blog for more info.