26 Jan 2022

Investment and traffic are key concerns for Tipperary town according to new Town Health Check Survey

The development of Market Yard and Kickham Place were found to encourage visitors to the town.

Investment and traffic are key concerns for Tipperary town according to new Town Health Check Survey

CTCHC Tipperary Town Consumer Survey

The first-ever Collaborative Town Centre Health Check (CTCHC) in Tipperary Town has found that 57% of people associate lack of investment with Tipperary Town.

68% associate poor traffic with the area.

The survey carried out by the Heritage Council measured customer opinions on strengths and opportunities for improvement in Tipperary Town.

CTCHC Programme's Founding Co-ordinator, Ali Harvey, said the survey would help inform the future of developments in Tipperary Town.

"We're looking to ensure that our historic town centres survive and thrive in a time of great uncertainty; this collaborative approach to heritage-led regeneration allows everyone to play a role in shaping the future of our historic town centres, particularly in light of the pending national Town Centres First (TCF) Policy, which the CTCHC Programme has been calling for since 2019," said Ms Harvey.

The RED C survey used a questionnaire designed by the CTCHC Project Partners, focusing on key indicators of the overall health of the Tipperary Town Centre.

It measured consumer and visitor opinions on events, transport, parking, cycling and consumer behaviour.

The survey also found that more people are shopping online, with eight in 10 people shopping more online since the start of the pandemic.

Amazon was the most popular site for online shopping.

Customers were more likely to shop in the town in supermarkets and chemists.

The most sought after retail was clothes shops for young people.

Chairperson of Tipperary Town Chamber Rita Fenton said the survey is positive for Tipperary Town and highlights opportunities in the town.

"The results show that there is a great business opportunity for an enterprising person to open a clothing store catering for young people in the centre of the town.

"As the traffic and lack of parking are again highlighted as real problems for shoppers and visitors to our town centre, we must redouble our efforts to accelerate work on a Bypass for the Town. All in all, the report shows positive feedback from the people interviewed and areas for opportunity, so it's onwards and upwards for Tipperary Town!" said Ms Fenton.

More than 70% of people surveyed said the provision of parking and cycle lanes was an issue in the town centre and getting around town was difficult.

However, the survey found that the development of Market Yard and Kickham Place encouraged visitors to the town.

62% of visitors said they would attend markets, festivals and public events in Tipperary Town.

Cllr Annemarie Ryan said the collaborative approach of the programme includes everyone in the development of the town rich in culture and heritage.

"The delivery of the CTCHC Programme and the CTCHC Project in Tipperary Town supports and enables heritage-led regeneration of this special place, which has layers upon layers of history and heritage in its streets, laneways and buildings.

"The creation of a 15-Step CTCHC baseline including the consumer survey enables a bottom-up approach - one that nurtures local participation and engagement, and which values and celebrates a place's unique built, cultural and natural heritage, said Cllr Ryan.

This survey is part of a broader regeneration initiative in Tipperary Town.

The results will be compiled in the Tipperary Town CTCHC Summary Report due to be published in January 2022 and launched by Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan.

Tipperary Taskforce Project Manager Michael Begley said the survey today is a "positive and constructive basis" on which to develop Tipperary Town.

"The CTCHC consumer survey results give us a great insight into the perception that people have of our town centre and highlights, yet again, the need for action in areas such as tackling vacancy and dereliction, development of festivals and events to drive footfall and the promotion of e-commerce opportunities among traders.

"These are areas that we intend to focus on keenly going forward, and this data is priceless in terms of planning programmes and activities that can have a really positive impact for everybody with a stake in the town, businesses, consumers and visitors," said Mr Begley.

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