Retail Excellence Ireland (REI ), Ireland’s largest retail industry body, has announced that Westport is Ireland’s best town. Kilkenny was nominated as Ireland’s best city. This is the third time in only a few months that Westport has won a national award after receiving its first award from the Irish Times. On that occasion the coastal town was crowned the Best Place to Live in Ireland and the second was the coveted Tidiest Large Town in Ireland award.
The survey, which comprised 16,000 citizen and stakeholder (business owner ) interviews in 100 towns and cities throughout Ireland, is the largest town and city survey ever undertaken in Ireland. The survey is part of an initiative which REI launched in July this year to encourage all stakeholders to work together to form a Town Team, design and implement a Town Plan which will reinvigorate towns and cities, and in-turn will re-engage with citizens and customers alike.
Following on from this survey, REI will form a National Town and City Revival Executive which will disseminate best town management practice, which will then be transferred into towns and cities across Ireland by promotion. The executive will be made up of town, county and city managers, Retail Excellence Ireland, NAMA, An Gardaí, Chambers Ireland, and Fáilte Ireland.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD has expressed his delight at his home-town of Westport being named the best town in Ireland.
“This award is a further boost to Westport. It is good news for the town and it certainly puts the town on the map, following on from winning the Tidiest Large Town in the 2012 Tidy Towns Awards and, being voted the Best Place to Live in Ireland.
Minister Ring concluded:“To follow on with this award, gives a great boost to the town. We had a very good tourist season this year and hopefully we can build on these successes by increasing tourist numbers in the future. ”