Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc MacSharry has called on the government to pursue a new strategy to stem the growing commercial vacancies in the north west.

A new report has been released which shows Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Donegal in the top six of the counties with the highest commercial vacancies. Sligo tops the list at 18.9% vacant commercial properties.

Deputy MacSharry commented “A new strategy must be pursued.  This could include incentivizing people to live in town and village centres to breathe new life into our streetscapes to compliment retail and other commercial enterprise.  We are all too familiar with empty shop units throughout the region, many of which are no longer suitable for modern retail and commercial needs. So why not promote their use as dwellings.

“The situation is clear. On the one hand we have a housing crisis yet we have the highest commercial vacancy rate in the country.  Originally many were dwellings and so in the absence of a realistic commercial opportunity these units could be adjusted for use as dwellings once again.

“The government must develop and support a strategy to support the north west with a mix of appropriate measures to incentivize town and village dwelling to revitalize our urban centres and support local business,” concluded Deputy MacSharry.