Galway City has been ranked the second best city in Ireland after Kilkenny in a survey by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI).
The city was ranked 14 overall in the survey, which is based on interviews conducted with 16,000 residents and business owners in 100 towns and cities around Ireland.
While Galway City performed well in the towns and cities survey, Ballinasloe and Loughrea both ranked in the bottom 25.
Loughrea was also in the bottom ten in the country for car parking availability, price and convenience, while Ballinasloe was ranked in the bottom ten with Tuam for presentation and maintenance.
Stakeholders also rated Loughrea among the bottom ten in terms of the dining and entertainment options offered in the town and, together with Ballinasloe, ranked in the bottom ten in terms of security, safety and family friendliness. Ballinasloe and Tuam were also in the bottom ten in terms of town promotions, events and general image.
In contrast, Galway City made the top ten for town promotions, events and general image, being beaten only by Kilkenny, Skerries, Listowel and Clonakilty.
The city also made the top ten for the dining and entertainment options offered. As well as being the top rated city overall, Kilkenny topped this category, followed by Malahide, Dungarvan, Swords, Carrickmacross, Killarney, Cork City, Westport and Clonakilty.
The only category that Galway City failed to impress stakeholders was in terms of local government responsiveness, efficiency and engagement, where it ranked in the bottom ten.
The REI survey, the largest town and city survey ever undertaken in Ireland, is part of an initiative REI launched in July to encourage stakeholders to form a ‘Town Team’ and design and implement a ‘Town Plan’ that will reinvigorate towns and cities.
Eason Head of Property and REI Town and City Revival Committee Chairperson Cormac Kennedy said it is “critically important” that the new report and survey results are used to help improve towns and cities around Ireland.
“This should act as a roadmap for towns and cities to help them focus on areas that they can improve on. As retailers, we need to invest in our shops, and as customers, we need to visit our local towns and cities more often and remind ourselves what great things they have to offer. We truly hope that today will be the start of partnerships developing in locations throughout the country to look at ways of improving their towns.”