Report provides baseline for revitalisation of historic town
The findings of a major new survey of the strengths and opportunities for Tralee Town Centre have been launched today by the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, Damien English T.D. The survey revealed people’s impressions of the town’s shopping and eating options along with parking and entertainment facilities. Both shoppers and business people felt that the historic county town would benefit from an improved public realm, more parking and more shops. The report will help to guide plans for the future management and revitalisation of the town.
The Tralee Town Centre Health Check Report 2017 focuses on the survey results of a number of key indicators of the overall health of the town centre including: level of town centre activities, land use/commercial mix, pedestrian footfall patterns and business operators and shoppers’ perceptions of the quality of the environment of the historic county town.
The survey showed that:
- 59% of respondents were in the town centre to shop on the day the survey was taken
- 60% shop in Tralee out of habit and convenience and 8% for the selection of shops
- 77% think there is a good selection of cafés and restaurants in Tralee
- 54% think the town is attractive
- 38% think parking facilities in the town are poor
78% of the business respondents feel that shopping is the main thing that attracts people to the town centre. 46% think that parking is the most important improvement that could be made to the town. 55% expect trading to improve over the next two years and 64% would contribute to a marketing fund to attract people to Tralee.
In September 2016, Tralee was selected (along with seven other towns) to participate in the Heritage Council, RGDATA, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DoHPCLG), Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (DoAHRRGA), and Partners’ National ‘Pilot’ Town Centre Health Check Training Programme 2016/2017. The project team which completed the comprehensive TCHC survey of Tralee Town Centre includes representatives from Kerry County Council, Tralee Chamber Alliance and IT Tralee with support provided by the Heritage Council.
Welcoming the Tralee Town Centre Health Check Report 2017, the Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Norma Foley said the report was a positive and constructive basis on which Tralee town centre can be further enhanced and promoted. “This was a truly collaborative baseline survey involving the town’s key strategic partners and it gives us a great framework for taking stock of Tralee’s many assets. We must be equipped with this sort of data to build for the future. Tralee is a bustling, vibrant town with so much to offer and this health check report will help us to enhance and maximise the quality of life for everyone in the town,” she said.
Speaking at the launch in Tralee, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English T.D. stated that “I am delighted and encouraged to see the robust, collaborative and partnership approach that has today delivered this first Town Health Check Report for Tralee. The Programme for Partnership Government sets out the ambitious priority attached to the area of urban regeneration by Government, incorporating a series of specific actions to regenerate our urban centres. Today’s Report complements those Actions and provides a welcome baseline for Tralee’s revitalisation.”
Michael Parsons, Chairperson of the Heritage Council added “The Tralee Town Centre Health Check demonstrates the importance of having a robust baseline and research data to inform decision-making and investment proposals for town renewal and revitalisation. The strategic collaborative effort has been outstanding and the many partnerships created bode well for the future of this wonderful historic, county town.”
Brid McElligott, Vice-President, Research, Development and External Engagement, IT Tralee said: “The Institute looks forward to continued collaboration with all the agencies involved to maximise the opportunities for the county town, ensuring it continues to prosper and grow.”
Kieran Ruttledge, CEO of Tralee Chamber Alliance highlighted that the report provides useful signposts for the future: “A healthy and vibrant town centre is important for everyone who lives, works and visits Tralee. This is a great step forward in helping to further enhance what Tralee has to offer its citizens and visitors and to strengthen its image – both nationally and internationally.”