Arklow is a commuter town situated at the southeast of Ireland. It is designated as a commuter town, having a population of 13,009 people in 2011. the town’s close proximity to Dublin has made it an ideal commuter town.
Arklow was well known for its many attractions, including sports facilities, a Bed and Breakfast hotel, easy access to attractive beaches, numerous pubs and restaurants along with a variety of cultural events. However, the town has declined since the financial crisis in 2008. Multiple businesses left the town, leading to many units being unused and boarded up. Some of these buildings wereneglected while others were repurposed as advertising space. It was hoped that the Bridgewater Shopping Centre would bring some life back to the town, but instead there was further decline as it became Arklow’s main hub, driving business away from the town centre.
Now, 46 of Arklow’s 132 units are empty. This can be seen especially in the main street where some of the shops have been redecorated with art or advertising posters to make the town look more attractive. Even Bridgewater has suffered as some businesses are leaving the shopping centre.
In addition to the economic problems, Arklow has also been plagued by environment issues. The abandoned factories that dominate the town’s skyline represent a pollution risk as some contain asbestos, a toxic substance that spewed from the roof of an old warehouse that caught fire on December 12th 2016.