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Waterford City Centre Development Brief – Appendix 1 Waterford City Centre Business Group: Brian Tynan Eddie Mulligan Tony Fitzgerald Declan Conway Glenn Sheridan Jim Gordon Will Lee George Kehoe Ciaran Cullen Michael Garland

Michael Garland 23rd April 2013


Doing it for Ourselves - Waterford Merchants Immediate Actions Group Structure Name of the group – Waterford City Centre Business Group (WCCBG) WCCBG recognises the need to be affiliated to Waterford Chamber of Commerce and other City stakeholder groups. No local politician may be Chair or a member of the steering committee but may be a member of any one of the future working groups. We would invite a Senior City Council Official, possibly the new Waterford Economic Development Officer (and or Director of Services), to sit on the Steering Committee that will come into place as a part of the Amalgamation Minimum cost initiatives to promote positivity around Waterford City’s businesses and have mechanisms in place to tackle all negative preconceptions. Good news stories must access the media to show what Waterford City’s businesses are doing for their customers to ensure we are the best Destination City, not only in the region, but in Ireland. This could immediately be in the form of Facebook & Twitter Account, a City Centre Community Info slot on WLR/Beat and engagement with ALL local newspapers, media etc Convene the former Destination Waterford City Retail group and become the primary group representing all City Centre businesses. Sub committees may be formed to deal with specific issues such as Parking & Access, Presentation, Communications, Marketing, Customer Service & Security etc.

Michael Garland 23rd April 2013

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Reignite the Merchants Quarter promotional activities, John Street Village and Viking Triangle ‘Experience’ concepts and signage at entrance points to these areas to engage visitors back to the retail City Centre Initiate early liaison with DWC Tourism Committee and other City Festival Organisers Lobby for Fáilte Ireland and the Local Tourist Office to be located in the heart of the Merchant’s Quarter or at the very least have a presence in the City Centre retailing area Initiate promotions such as a ‘Friday Feel Good’, City Shopping & Socialising experience from 5pm in line with DWC Tourism etc & supported by City Council car parking promotions Make the City a destination of choice for weekly essentials for the 70,000 living within 10km by developing a “City must go’’ experience Lobby Waterford City & County implementation committee to ensure the WCCBG briefing document is considered by economic strategy workshops and that the group present to implementation committee directly, prior to the implementation group finalising their report Lobby for innovative Rates Concessions for new and existing businesses Remove Unnecessary Regulations Re-Shops/Markets Create a commercial “class” structure for commercial premises in the retail centre to ensure balance and equity – to allow for planned & structured retail development Mediate a best practice document for interaction between tenant and landlord in these tough economic times – Waterford City specific Priced Database of Vacant Shops in city centre – to include yearly rents and rates. Public register of all City Centre Landlords Explore incentives to prevent landlords leaving shops empty Encourage compulsory purchase orders to encourage development of key retail sites – by engaging with developers to make it “easy” to get planning quickly

Michael Garland 23rd April 2013

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Encourage imaginative use of empty shop units by local community groups

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Use the new “ Living Cities” tax incentive to encourage investment

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Help & encourage small retailers in business strategy, marketing, PR, selling best practice & value for money. Multi Channel Approach – development of On line “shopping Centre” niche Waterford City Centre as well as shop front & creating niche brands to enliven city centre Encourage “licensed” busking areas on Fridays and Saturdays along with late might shopping incentives in conjunction with Jane Cantwell (Waterford City Council) Volunteer Groups for Tourist/Restaurant/Entertainment information - the “Ask Me/I am pleased to help” phenomena rather than apps & web Regular newsletter City Centre Retailers newsletter to inform retailers of marketing incentives, car parking incentives, good news stories etc. This process has been undertaken by Waterford City Council for DWC Tourism & must be replicated for the retailers

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Short Term Volunteer to take up the slack & workload needed to garner opinion & formulate a City Centre Planning document that ALL retailers & businesses can by into Undertake 2-3 immediate promotional initiatives for shopping vouchers, car parking price comparisons etc Need for "KEY" champions & drivers & spokespersons to step up to the mark & make a difference & tackle the “thorny issues” that need to be discussed & addressed immediately Develop a unique shopping, social & recreational themed experience for Waterford City Centre that all business would benefit from. Through shoppers/stakeholders survey (via Rikon maybe)

Michael Garland 23rd April 2013

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Initiate a strategy for development of Merchants Quarter, John Street Village and Viking Triangle concepts in a unified manner that will bring in revenue to all Stakeholders Lobby IDA for increased Grant Aid in light of Waterford’s current economic plight & encourage our public representatives to do this also Establish a policy & make a submission to Waterford Council on City Centre Markets and Pop-Up Shops. Suggest that ALL markets are located to the Apple Market are & thus create footfall up & down Michael Street. We may also be able, over time, to create similarities to Cork’s English Market area Develop communication strategy through Social Media & via the survey Introduce a discount card or similar incentive for employees of each business to offer a discounted rates & encourage LOCAL spending in the collective group Full and inclusive meeting with ALL City Centre businesses & ALL representative bodies

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Medium Term Public Relations and Communications To establish a database & communication network for all businesses in the City Centre Ensuring that ALL “good news” is circulated to the local media – promote positivity Manage Social Media To make local businesses aware that we as a group are working towards a better & healthier Waterford City Centre A Survey of all local businesses – welcoming business comments, stating opening hours etc Promotion and Marketing Review & promote opening hours Joint marketing initiatives

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Link with ALL City Centre festivals & promotions – clearly defined lines of communications needed Cruise line engagement with both crew & guests – better circulation of cruise ship visits Linking with Viking Triangle Branding of Merchant Quarter (signage) Incentives to staff working in the City Centre – group discount schemes etc Shop local campaign focusing on the fact that there are 1500 people employed in the City Centre A business 'Buy & Source Local” campaign encouraging businesses to use local suppliers – look a what you can do locally rather than outside the City (a “Cork City” mentality) Presentation Street Infrastructure , lighting policy City Centre Business and Environmental Award Customer Service & a Customer Friendly city Discover Waterford Charter - develop further & encourage retailer participation Establish “Smile” Waterford Customer Service Awards Lack of ATM machines - work with financial providers to improve the number. There are many smaller issues like this that can help to make the City Centre more consumer friendly Continue to develop the Retail Watch Security Group Text Scheme & follow up retailers concerns with Garda Business Watch. Lobby for full-time Garda presence 7 days a week for the City Centre & develop a policy regarding street vendors, street drinkers, beggars etc Branding Make use of the Merchant’s Quarter branding from now on to create an identity for the Waterford retailing heart Transport Bus access must advertised & promoted more effectively

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Signage on the entry points into the city promoting the free car parking times & any additional promotions must be advertised Signage needs to be put into place at each of the car parks giving a lay out of the Merchant’s Quarter with a listing of for ALL retailers – was in place through DWC Retail but was not implemented Communication Use of Facebook and other social media will be key to greeting a quick win if managed correctly Key marketing & date specific promotions - urgent Closer working relationship with City Council emphasising the group is non-political & is representing all the views of those working in & doing business within the City Centre A positive message must be delivered at all times through the local & national media with a constant focus on the positive news stories Lobby for University Status to WIT Attract residents & office workers back to City Centre – re-engage with the City Better connectivity from Viking Triangle, John Street Village and Waterfront through possible Arched Entrances possibly blazed overhead giving a better shopping/retail experience

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Long Term Indoor type market such as the English Market in Cork – promotion of the new food market on The Quay (Merchant’s Quay) Address connectivity issues with the like of Ballybricken, O’Connell Street, Viking Triangle etc Entertainment & leisure activities in City Centre

Michael Garland 23rd April 2013

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2014 is the City’s 1100th anniversary – how best to engage the retailers Survey the businesses who have vacated the City Centre & ask them “Why” they left

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Lobby for the retention & development of the Airport A City Centre Critical Mass Car Park Public Transport Delivery Strategy to City Centre retail area Initiate an Enterprise weekend in the City Centre for lobbying investment businesses to the City Lobby senior politicians to ensure any replacement plan to the National Spatial Strategy maintains Waterford City as the regional capital to the South East

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Implement a succession plan for group members to avoid “burn out” & thus making the group less focused. Develop a momentum & positivity that will rebuild our City become the retail capital of Ireland

Michael Garland 23rd April 2013

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Waterford City Centre Development Brief (2of2)