Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has called for more marketing mechanisms to be added to the recent suite of parking initiatives introduced to the City Centre.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Marketing the city Centre is crucial to keep it vibrant and attractive. An ongoing ‘Support Town’ campaign is essential. The City Council and traders need to develop mechanisms to face off against the challenges of online buying”.
Cllr McCarthy highlights that the city has many traits which are different to those of a shopping centre. “The City Centre has a stronger sense of place – we need to keep capturing this sense of place and continue to make it meaningful and personable to citizens. Trade and business in the city is diverse. Sometimes I feel the sense of diverseness is perhaps not celebrated enough”.
“We need to continue the online advertising of the city –our attractions, arts and culture, and festivals need to be consistently captured- I often feel we don’t plug our festivals enough. The surprise, fun, & experience within the city need to be at the forefront of the City Centre’s future”.
“We need to push more that the city is a great space for entertainment, socialising, and learning. It is a space where people can come together and enjoy themselves.
In general the quality of the experience of the city is clean, safe, and welcoming.
The education and Lifelong Learning element of the city need to become stronger tenets of City Living. We can be justly proud of the annual Lifelong Learning Festival”.
The Healthy City element needs to be opened up more. The city has many age friendly city projects as well as food policy council initiatives, which we need to hear more about.
Collaboration and coalitions work well when they are applied to the city and different groups work together with the Council. We have witnessed that with the Re-Imagine Cork and Mad About Cork initiatives. The more facilitation of ideas from community networks the better in informing different ways of engaging the City Centre and its future.
Ultimately the City Centre needs to build customers– rewarding and building loyalty.
We need to mind our shops, many of which have a deep family history, the SMEs, our Independent shops. The city
needs to hear more about SME development and start-ups; we need to hear more about the projects of the Local Enterprise Office. The City Centre certainly needs a strong Digital City Retail Strategy, which is absent at the moment. These are just some of the many strands, which need to be brought together to think holistically and act upon the future of the City Centre”.