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Successful Ballinasloe Town Benchmarking Meeting held.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The town bench marking meeting was well represented by members from the business, volunteer groups, clubs and organizations. The results of a social media driven survey funded by BACD Ltd and the Ballinasloe Enterprise Center revealed some areas for improvement to awaken the towns slumbering economy. Project Co-ordinator, Owen Dunne, revealed that the survey had been completed an impressive 814 times and that close to 50% of the people surveyed wanted to be kept up to the date with the findings and the future plans. Multiple video vox pops of some of the business people in the town were uploaded onto youtube and posted via the Ballinasloe Life Facebook page. The Videos were posted between July 23rd to August 7th and reached a total of 8,800 Facebook users and the videos reached an accumulative total of 1,329 Youtube views. The towns central location and access to the motorway were the two biggest advantages identified by the survey. Chris Wade, Chief Executive of Towns AliveŁ, spoke on the possibilities for the town if everyone pulled together and worked under the one umbrella. His experiences lie in the UK where he has helped to turn around failing former market towns and reinvigorate them to make the most of their unique advantages. His track record speaks for itself with countless towns across Britain benefiting from his services. Mr Wade spoke about bringing uniqueness back to the high streetŁ. All to often towns have become carbon copies of one another due to high rent prices. He believes that the downturn in the economy can once again open up new space for a more vibrant mix of shops and draw people back into the town center. But the point was made by Seamus Duffy, Chairman of Ballinasloe Area Community Development, and echoed by people around the room that the town will not improve if this initiative is only undertaken by people in the town center. The project must encompass the hinterland of Ballinasloe for it to be a success. Co-operation between towns such as Portumna and Aughrim to name but a few is essential in reviving the flagging economy in the East of Galway. The survey revealed people in the town believe new industry as what is needed most in the area to fulfill it's potential. At the meeting references were made to the golden era of the town when Square D, Dubarry, Portiuncula, St Brigids and AT Cross were the backbone to the community. Other aspects which rated highly on the items that needed to be developed was a better internet service & improved parking facilities. Caution must be taken however as the survey showed that the majority of people that carried it out fell into the age brackets of between 25-45. This does not reflect the areas actual demographic. Further street surveys will be carried out by Chris's team in the future to gather a full understanding of the perception of the town. The results of these surveys will build on the work already completed and allow a town committee to create a plan and put it into action. The turnout for the event is a testament to the community spirit in the area. The project is being part funded by Ballinasloe Chamber of Commerce, Ballinasloe Credit Union, Galway County Council & BACD Ltd.

 

 
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Ballinasloe Area Community Development Ltd., Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre,
Creagh, Ballinasloe. Co Galway Tel: 090 9646516 Fax: 090 9646517 Email: info@ballinasloeenterprisecentre.ie
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