The Thurles Marketing Group, a committee established to promote and market the Cathedral Town as a tourist, business and industry destination, has been put on the back burner for the immediate future, The Tipperary Star has learned.
The Group which comprised of members from North Tipperary County Council, Thurles Town Council, Tipperary Institute, Shannon Development, IDA, North Tipperary Enterprise Board, Leader and the Thurles Chamber of Commerce has been in existence for a number of years and sought to promote Thurles at home and abroad through a number of innovative initiatives.
The group was co-funded by the agencies mentioned and would list amongst it’s achievements, the establishment of the Thurles.ie website, the initiation of an Ambassadors project in Dublin and the hosting of a Thurles Showcase last year which was a big success.
However, in recent times it became obvious to members that the Group was meeting regularly without any real goals and the decision was taken to suspend activities for a time to allow for reflection and perhaps some thought to be given to coming at their role in a fresh, new-ideas based manner.
One source associated with the Thurles Marketing Group, told The Tipperary Star, “I suppose you could say that in the current economic climate we should be marketting the town even more aggressively and promoting what it has to offer in terms of tourism, business, commercial and industrial potential. But, the general concensus was that we had reached a crossroads and we were not going to continue drawing on budgets and just meeting for the sake of it. We decided to take a break and the view is that we can always reconvene, maybe in the Autumn, or later, if we feel that we have ideas to follow up on.”
County Manager Mr Joe MacGrath unveiled his own plans for a business and tourism initiative for North Tipperary just after Christmas and it was felt by the Marketting Group that there could well be a degree of duplication - this was also a significant factor in the decision to suspend the operations of the Group which played a major role in convincing authorities of the need for a Technology Park in the town as well as the addition of a second unit at the Bawntameena facility which was opened last year by Minister Batt O’Keeffe.
The Group could well be reconveyed to assist with the promotion and development of the Community Enterprise Centre which is in the pipeline for the Tipperary Institute site and will provide vital, low-cost, start-up space for people with business, light industrial, and commercial initiatives. This Centre will be completed, all going well, before the end of the year, at a cost of approximately 1 million Euro.