Saturday 7 December 2019

Survey reveals Sligo parking issues

Paul Deering

Walking or window shopping was the main reason for being in Sligo town centre for the majority of people (47%) who took part in a recent survey.

The survey of 400 people which took place at five locations in the town centre between August 25th and November 11th also revealed just 16% of those surveyed were there to do some shopping.

A total of 7% of people said they were just passing through, and 13% were there for work reasons. 57% said the improvements on O'Connell Street would encourage them to spend more time in the town centre.

Some 53% of respondents said they feared Brexit will have a negative effect on the town centre.

Availability and the cost of parking was also an issue raised by people. Some 27% said difficulty parking was the top reason for disliking shopping in Sligo with poor range of shops coming next at 15% and expensive parking at 14%.

Sme 34% of respondents shop online at least monthly with clothes and clothing accessories (59%) being the main reason and the average spend being €77.

The majority of those who shop online (63%) do not buy from Sligo online stores.

Penneys (28%) and Dunnes (16%) rank as Sligo's most favourite stores to shop in followed by Aldi (6%) and Ej's (6%) with River Island on 4% and Mullaney's and TK Maxx at 3%.

Those on 2% were Henry Lyons, Lidl, Carraig Donn, Simone's and Tesco.

The main mode of transport to get to town was car at 65% followed by bus on 6%.

The findings of the IPSOS survey, on the strengths and opportunities for Sligo Town Centre were released 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.

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.

"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 consumer survey also showed that:

· 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).

· 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 St.

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.

Sligo Champion