Kilkenny crowned Ireland’s best city

Kilkenny is officially the best city in Ireland, according to the country’s largest retail industrial body, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI).

Kilkenny is officially the best city in Ireland, according to the country’s largest retail industrial body, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI).

REI made the confirmation with its announcement of the best 100 towns and cities in Ireland yesterday, following a lengthy survey. Westport was given the title of Ireland’s best town.

The survey, which comprised of 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. It is part of an initiative which Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) launched in July this year to encourage all stakeholders to work together to form a ‘Town Team’, design and implement a ‘Town Plan’ to reinvigorate towns and cities, and in turn, re-engage with citizens and customers alike.

Kilkenny finished 11th overall in the survey. In particular, Kilkenny citizens rated the city highly for its range of restaurants and pubs (12% higher than average).

Kilkenny also scored highly for image and being a family-friendly city. REI’s survey found that Kilkenny City has an 8% more unique and attractive streetscape than the average Irish town or city.

In addition, it was also found to be 8% better presented and maintained than the average Irish town or city. However, the report has also found that citizens rated the city below the national average on car parking pricing (13% below).

Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce president Donie Butler welcomed the recognition of Kilkenny City’s retail offering this morning.

“This is a tremendous boost not only to all of us operating in the retail sector but to all businesses trading from Kilkenny City,” said Mr Butler.

“Over the past two years, the Kilkenny Chamber embarked on a programme of inclusiveness with sister business organisations and we see this recognition by REI as the consolidation of all our collective efforts in selling Kilkenny as the number one city retail offer in Ireland.”

The retail mix of local, national and international retail offer was high on the list of those surveyed by REI.

Following on from this survey, REI will form a National Town and City Revival Executive which will disseminate best town management practice and will actively promote such practice in all towns and cities across Ireland. The Executive will be made up of town, county and city managers, Retail Excellence Ireland, NAMA, gardai, Chambers Ireland and Failte Ireland.

“I welcome the results of this survey, and thank the many thousands of citizens and stakeholders who took the time to give us valuable feedback,” said David Fitzsimons, CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland.

“The results of this survey represent the start of something big for towns and cities across Ireland. REI is committed to ensuring that towns and cities take pride of place in every community across Ireland,”