Reimagine Projects Around Ireland

Reimagine Projects Around Ireland


Reimagine Session – Town Centre First in practice

Friday, 24th November, 1pm-2pm
Reimagine Session – Town Centre First in practice
Friday 24 November, 1pm-2pm

You can watch the recording here



This Reimagine Session will focus on Town Centre First in practice. Throughout 2023 the twenty-six pilot towns selected to partake in the Town Centre First process have developed their plans.

During this Webinar you will hear about the development of one such plan, for Clara in County Offaly, from three perspectives. First you will hear from National Town Centre First Coordinator Mairead Hunt on the national picture and the Town Centre First policy as a Framework for placemaking, then from Olwen Cummins, Town Regeneration Officer for Offaly County Council, on establishing a Town Team and her role supporting the community through the process of developing a plan for their town, and finally from Bernie Henry, the chair of the Clara Town Team, on how the community of Clara approached the Town Centre First process and delivered a positive vision for the future of their town.

We hope that you can join us for an interesting conversation on how Town Centre First is establishing Ireland’s first consistent approach to placemaking.



Mairead Hunt National Coordinator – National Town Centre First Office

Appointed as the National Town Centre First Co-ordinator in August 2022, Mairead brings over 25 years’ experience in Local Government across 4 Local Authorities and multiple departments including Planning, Roads, and Environment.  Prior to her appointment in August 2022, Mairead led a multidisciplinary Strategic Projects & Public Realm team in Kildare County Council. The team were successful in gaining an unprecedented level of funding for the delivery of Kildare’s key strategic projects which are transformative in terms of both place making and economic opportunity.   


Olwen Cummins – Offaly Town regeneration Officer

Olwen graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in 1998, followed by a Higher Diploma in Education in 1999. Olwen has experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry before entering Local Government.  She has 23 years’ experience working in Local Authorities covering various sections including Environment, HR, Planning, Housing and Town Clerk.  Olwen is currently the Town Regeneration Officer for Offaly County Council and has been involved in regeneration for Offaly’s Town and Villages for the last 4 years.


Bernie Henry – Chair of the Clara Town Team

Bernie has had career and academic experiences in different fields at home, and abroad, including, though not exclusively, Merchant Banking, Business Development, Child and Youth Services, Family Mediation and Education.  The triangular relationship between community, economics, and the spaces we exist within, plus the impact that relationship has on our very being, has always intrigued her. On retirement Bernie became active within the Clara Heritage Society, a society that is very active within the community. Through her interaction with the Heritage Society,  in 2022 she became involved with the Offaly County Council TRO and the Clara Town Team.  Bernie is now the chair of Clara Town Team.


Image – Aerial view of Clara, Co. Offaly, courtesy of Town Centre First National Office

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