Chamber wants a one stop city for all regional spend

A report commissioned by Waterford Chamber shows how local and regional businesses can maximise on enticing more shoppers into the area.

Launching the Think Waterford First Gift Card were Cllr Joe Conway, Mayor of Waterford City and County, Denis Carroll and Jessica Manning, City Square Shopping Centre and Gerald Hurley, CEO Waterford Chamber. Picture: Noel Browne.

Gerald Hurley, CEO of Waterford Chamber said research compiled by RIKON, the research arm of South East Technological University (SETU), and in partnership with Waterford City and County Council, WCCC, shows opportunities to reverse the trend of consumer spending more locally. The findings presented key data such as Waterford having the largest catchment population outside of Dublin, with over 634,000 people within an hour’s drive time from the capital. And such a thriving population puts the spotlight back on the city and county and how local and regional business can be maximised.

“The RIKON report was the catalyst for the Think Waterford First Campaign, a national marketing strategy to showcase Waterford as a great place to live, work, do business and invest in,” he said. “The data is definitive and encouraging, whether you are looking to set up a new business or relocate for employment because Waterford has all you could ever need.”

A report commission by Waterford Chamber has found retail leakage of over €600m. But a growing retail sector across Waterford towns and counties can help reverse this.

Hurley said it is positive to see large redevelopment projects like the North Quays underway, as well as many other pockets of the city expanding on its employment offerings.

“It is heartening to look across the river and see BAM cranes dotting the skyline as they prepare the North Quays site for major transformation by Harcourt Developments,” he said. “This will lead to significant job creation, luxury accommodation, tourism offerings and of course add to the impressive list of employers that already exists in the city in pharma, med-tech, life-sciences and engineering, like Bausch + Lomb, TEVA, Sanofi, West and others.”

We have a strong, collaborative community working together to meet and exceed ambitions

A second economic report carried out by EY has examined opportunities in the city for Waterford’s student population. A second economic report carried out by EY has examined opportunities for Waterford’s student population, and the wider economy in Waterford and the south east.

“When WIT transitioned to SETU, Waterford finally became a university city,” said Hurley. “This led to further analysis carried out by EY, who conducted a study into the opportunities for Waterford city centre in terms of a student population.

“As a Chamber of Commerce, along with our partners in WCCC and SETU, we want to continue spreading the word that Waterford is a city of international standing, that businesses large and small can thrive, we have the talent and the infrastructure and we finally have all the data potential investors need all in one place. But most of all, we have a strong, collaborative community working together to meet and exceed the ambitions set out in Project Ireland 2040.”