2nd April 2014
The aim of the Greystones Strategy is essentially to make Greystones a better place to live and work in – for everyone.
The recession has left many businesses struggling to survive. Other towns, like Bray, Howth and Dun Laoghaire are responding. They are coordinating efforts between stakeholder groups and their Local Authorities. They are identifying and joining up their best local assets. They are creating brands and marketing their towns. We believe there is enormous potential to do the same, and more, here – by identifying new opportunities and coordinating them with the excellent work already happening (e.g., festivals, walking and cycling routes, sporting events). This strategy aims to do just that.
In Phase 1, a call for tenders was put out to place branding specialists.
Key project deliverables were outlined as follows:
1) Develop a key concept/brand for Greystones that will support stakeholder efforts, and act as a cohesive element, for future community-led development strategies.
2) Agree a set of themes around which implementation can occur.
3) Get input from key stakeholders.
4) To develop a set of tangible projects against each theme (does not have to be the definitive list, but should be illustrative of the potential opportunities for action).
The proposal by UK company Thinkingplace was assessed to best meet the project requirements. Thinkingplace are place branding specialists and have worked with many towns and cities in the UK and Ireland, including working on the EU Brand project with Dun Laoghaire, Athy, Holyhead and Rhyll.
Thinkingplace put considerable emphasis on stakeholder engagement as part of their branding exercise. As part of the Greystones project, they will hold both one-to-one interviews with stakeholders in the town, and a larger scale workshop, in order to engage the community. From this they will gain an understanding of how the local community feel about the town and what hopes they have for it.
To gain a sense for how Greystones is perceived externally, they will undertake web-based research where they will look at blogs, websites, twitter, media etc. to consider what the current ‘noise’ is about Greystones – how is it described, which audiences are positive about it, and which are not. They will review existing primary and secondary research, economic, local and social strategies and other evidence.
This information will assist in developing the Greystones brand, which it is hoped will influence the enterprise strategy. It will provide the framework for the plan of action required. This approach will be cognisant of, and hopefully fit with, the excellent work already underway across the town.
The total project costs amounted to €15,925. In late 2012, the steering group successfully applied to County Wicklow Community Partnership for funding under the LEADER Rural Development Programme. As a result, 75% of the project costs were funded under this programme. The remaining 25% (€3,982 euro) was funded by the Greystones and District Chamber of Commerce and Local businesses.
There are 3 main phases to the development of the Enterprise Strategy:
Phase 1: Planning & initial stakeholder input……………………………. – Complete
Phase 1 was successfully completed. Activities included holding public meetings, capturing feedback from stakeholder groups, issuing international tender for branding work, securing 75% of required funding from LEADER Rural Development Programme and the remaining 25%, or €4k, was raised locally from the Greystones Chamber of Commerce and local businesses.
Phase 2: Developing the Brand & Action Areas………………………… – Completed
Phase 2 progress will be discussed at the meeting on Wednesday 02 April 2014 @ 20:00 at the Greystones Golf Club.
Phase 3: Implementation…………………………………………………………. – Running approximately 6 months behind schedule
The steps necessary to ensure completion will also be discussed at the meeting above
Workshops were held to get initial input from a range of stakeholders, including the business community, residents and community groups. Several themes emerged, including tourism, maximising ease of use (e.g., parking & safety) and attracting high-end inward investment.
As the work progressed, it became clear that Greystones needs a ‘brand’ to tie efforts together across the various themes. In response, an international tender was launched to find the best expertise to help devise an ambitious, achievable plan, including branding. A company called Thinkingplace was selected, and €12k of the required €16k for the work has been secured from the LEADER Rural Development Programme.
Last meeting Wednesday 17 Jul 2013 19:30
There was a strong turnout for the last meeting that was run by the steering group, Greystones and District Chamber of Commerce and Tidy towns. Jennifer Whitmore, Cllr Grainne McLoughlin and Stephen Donnelly TD. Over the course of two hours attendees participated in a set of informal and informative excercises, designed to find out what people love about Greystones and what they would like to change. Issues raised during the course of the night were:
A meeting will be held on Wednesday 02 April [email protected] 20:00 at Charlesland Golf Club (past the Park n Ride towards Woodlands) to go through what has been completed and look to find willing volunteers to participate in bringing the project to the next level. This is your community and as such this project will succeed or fail based on the help the local people of Greystones can provide in meeting the project tasks. These tasks will be discussed at this meeting and any offers of assistance are very welcome.
The success of this project is dependent on the support of the people of the community. There are several really useful ways you can help.
Volunteer: Much of the work done on this project to date has been undertaken on a voluntary basis. As the project progresses, we will need more people to help in developing the brand and designing and implementing supporting projects. If you are interested, please contact any one of the Strategic Commitee or Elaine Willis in Stephen Donnelly’s office.
Talk: Tell everyone about this project. The more talk there is about the project and its potential, the more people will support it and get involved. There are threads in the Greystones Open Forum on Facebook where any ideas can be discussed with the whole community.
With a vision of better facilities and opportunities for the future, what do you have to offer?
For the Brand Project toolkit: http://digitalpages.digitalissue.co.uk/?userpath=00000082/00008128/00080134/