Town Centre Health Check IPSOS Consumer Surveys Report

Town Centre Health Check IPSOS Consumer Surveys Report
Mary McDonagh, Sligo County Council, Finbarr Filan, Chairperson Sligo Tidy Towns, Ali Harvey, Heritage Council of Ireland, Brendan McCormack, President IT Sligo, Siobhan Ryan, Sligo County Council, Carol Moran, IT Sligo, Stephen Ward, Sligo County Council, Gail McGibbon, Sligo BID, Chris O’Malley, IT Sligo, Deirdre Greaney, IT Sligo, Stephen Walsh, Sligo LEO, Bernadette Donohoe, IT Sligo.

Sligo Town Centre’s Pulse Taken in First-ever Town Centre Health Check IPSOS Consumer Surveys Report – November 2019

"We’re looking to ensure that our historic towns survive and thrive in a time of great uncertainty, particularly in light of Brexit. This collaborative approach enables everyone to play a creative role in the planning and future management of our traditional town centres. The results of the IPSOS Consumer Surveys Report will help to inform and guide plans for the revitalisation of Sligo Town Centre. Robust baseline data is vital to ensure that our traditional town centres move with the times – we need to adapt to current trends and ensure that we offer a unique visitor experience in a quality, historic place"

Ali Harvey, CTCHC Training Programme Co-ordinator

The findings of a major new IPSOS survey, on the strengths and opportunities for Sligo Town Centre have been released today by the Sligo Collaborative Town Centre Health Check Team (CTCHC). Funded by the Heritage Council, the consumer surveys report reveals people’s impressions and perceptions of the town’s shopping and eating options along with leisure and entertainment facilities. Consumers felt that the historic town would benefit from an improved public realm, reopening of vacant units, more shops and more cultural events.

Ali Harvey, CTCHC Training Programme Co-ordinator with the Heritage Council, hailed the Heritage Council’s role saying that the collaborative approach is crucial in effecting change in our country’s historic towns.

“We’re looking to ensure that our historic towns survive and thrive in a time of great uncertainty, particularly in light of Brexit. This collaborative approach enables everyone to play a creative role in the planning and future management of our traditional town centres. The results of the IPSOS Consumer Surveys Report will help to inform and guide plans for the revitalisation of Sligo Town Centre. Robust baseline data is vital to ensure that our traditional town centres move with the times – we need to adapt to current trends and ensure that we offer a unique visitor experience in a quality, historic place”.


Welcoming the Sligo Town Centre Health Check Report process, the CEO of Sligo Business Improvement District (BID), Gail McGibbon said the IPSOS Report is a positive and constructive basis on which Sligo 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 baseline for taking stock of Sligo’s unique commercial and cultural assets. Quality of life and vibrant and attractive places are important drivers of investment and they are also an enabler of a strong entrepreneurial culture. The Heritage Council has been a huge support helping us to compile this consumer survey."

The IPSOS survey focuses on a number of key indicators of the overall health of the town centre including: level of town centre activities and consumers’ perceptions of the overall quality of the environment of the historic town centre. The report is part of the much wider initiative of the Sligo Town Centre Health Check Project. The ISPOS Report was launched at IT Sligo, one of the key project partners, on Thursday 7th November at 11am.

The consumer survey showed that: CHANGE FOR SLIGO

  • Cafes, restaurant and food appear high on the list of reasons to visit Sligo. 96% are happy with the food and restaurant offering in town (Restaurant Association Ireland’s Top 10 Foodie Destination in 2016, 2017 and 2018);
  • The refurbishment of O’Connell Street was viewed very positively by those surveyed.
  • Of the 408 consumers/visitors surveyed 34% shopped online in the last month, indicating that people still use bricks and mortar as primary shopping. Top 4 items purchased online include Clothing, Tech, Beauty Products and Concert tickets;
  • A key feature of the historic town centre was the Garavogue River with Rockwood Parade ranking first in places to visit followed by O’Connell Street.
  • Shopping is the main factor driving usage of Sligo Town centre users; however those surveyed would like to see more a modern range of shops; and increased events in the town centre.
  • There is a feeling that Brexit will impact negatively on the town.

Sligo, along with 12 other towns in Ireland is a member of the Heritage Council’s Collaborative Town Centre Health Check Training Programme established in late 2016. Programme partners include the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and Department and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The project team which undertook the consumers’ survey of Sligo Town Centre includes representatives from Sligo Business Improvement District (BID), Sligo County Council’s Planning, Heritage and Arts Offices, IT Sligo and Sligo Chamber with ongoing support provided by the Heritage Council. The CTCHC Training Programme currently has 13 no. towns involved in the programme with more towns on a waiting list to join.

Download The Sligo IPSOS Consumer Surveys Report - https://www.heritagecouncil.ie/content/files/Slgo_Town_Consumer_Surveys.pdf