Welcome to Arklow & District Chamber of Commerce.


I am very honoured to have been selected as your President at a time when it is clear that we are seeing positive improvements in our business environment locally and nationally.  I would like to support your business in Arklow through our local and national network.


Today tourism initiatives, such as Ireland’s Ancient East, have the potential to bring a commercial focus to our heritage allowing local historians, enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to build on the excellent material gathered over many years by generations of local people and groups.  Another hot topic is the development of our local walks, which offer everyone healthy lifestyle activities which are mapped with clear background information.  Walks – such as the Kynochs walk – and others currently under development with Irish Trails can attract both local and visiting groups to the area who will return regularly to appreciate the natural beauty of Arklow and Wicklow.


Infrastructural progress such as the access we have to high speed broadband now allows us online access to key communities and potential clients in order to promote our current businesses and develop new ways of doing businesses locally. Can we encourage this often younger community in any way? Let us know through www.arklow.ie


The prospect of clean water in the Avoca river, with the roll-out of a new Waste Water Treatment plant, will offer enormous potential for extensive water based activities, such as sailing, rowing, fishing and swimming. We are very supportive of the development of our harbour and marine services to support local commercial activities as part of the Wicklow port development plans.


Another key opportunity we have identified is to increase footfall in the town through the prospect of an Arklow Pottery and Heritage Visitors Centre, building on the nostalgia of many in Ireland who associate Arklow with pottery.  I believe this has the real potential to develop a design and craft offering around it to attract visitors to the town and support our retail outlets whilst improving our quality of life locally.  In fact we have just received a grant to develop a feasibility study on an appropriate location for which thanks are due to Irene Sweeney and Tina O’Sullivan for their efforts to date.  A lot of additional support will be required from everyone to bring this project to life within the town.


As our sense of community continues to develop and grow, we appreciate the effort put in year after year by festival committees to bring everyone together, both local residents, near neighbours as well as international visitors into Arklow. Much credit is due to local organisers of the Seabreeze festival, Arklow Musical festival, the RNLI Maritime Festival, the Arklow LGBT festival and the St Patrick’s Carnival & Parade as well as many others.


Check out www.arklow.ie to contact any of our local businesses or find out more about local activities and events.  Remember – if you are promoting any new service, product or event please contact us at chamber@arklow.ie so that we can update everyone in Arklow.  Our new mobile enabled site allows easy communications and is a resource which will become increasingly important to us all.  Your feedback and advertising support is always welcome.


Among many other things Arklow Chamber of Commerce has established a great working relationship with Arklow Municipal District Office, Wicklow County Council, Garda Siochanna, local TD’s and Councillors, Charities and other local bodies. We also take part in lobbying our five Wicklow TD’s, and National bodies on a range of issues affecting both business and our community.


Over the last number of years with my involvement with Arklow & District Chamber of Commerce, I have witnessed first-hand the extremely hard work carried out by our Executive Council and our staff, Kay and Aneta – thank you for your professional and friendly approach in supporting the town and local businesses.


I am ready for the challenges that lie ahead and will undertake to do my very best for Arklow and South Wicklow.

Ann McGovern