Amelia Lown presents ceremonial key to Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D., at the launch of the Roscrea Loyalty Scheme
Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D. launched the Roscrea Loyalty Scheme on Friday, a new initiative to encourage people to shop locally and to visit Roscrea Castle, Damer House and the Blackmill for free.
The OPW has worked with the Roscrea Chamber of Commerce and Tipperary County Council to bring this initiative to fruition.
Under the scheme, shoppers spending €15 in local participating retail outlets will be provided with a voucher which will entitle them to a free family entry at Roscrea Castle, Damer House and the Blackmill.
A similar initiative has been in operation in Cashel since March 2015 and has proven to be a great success in promoting tourism and economic activity in the town.
Speaking at the launch in Damer House, Minister Moran said: "I am delighted that my Office, the OPW, in conjunction with all the local partners have initiated this scheme today for Roscrea. Its success has been proven in Cashel and I hope that a similar positive impact is experienced in Roscrea.
“The importance of tourism to the Irish economy cannot be underestimated and while the remit of the OPW is conservation and presentation, I am delighted that my Office can get involved in schemes such as this”.
The Minister went on to say: “Culture and heritage promote individual, community and national wellbeing. Since the 1st of May, 2018, people with disabilities and their carers have free admission to all OPW managed heritage sites.
“This builds on the very successful initiative I introduced last summer which provides free admission to our heritage sites to children under 12”.
Shoppers will get a voucher entitling them to a free family entry to Roscrea Castle, Damer House and the Blackmill on spending €15 in participating local retail outlets. The programme is being run in conjunction with Roscrea Chamber of Commerce and Tipperary County Council. This heritage site is managed by the OPW in conjunction with the Roscrea Heritage Society.
President of Roscrea Chamber of Commerce, Mr Seamus Browne, said: “today is a milestone for the traders of Roscrea, our greatest treasure now has a stronger role in advancing the prosperity of the town. “Prosperity” is a word that has disappeared from most small rural towns over the past 10 years, but today the business people of Roscrea have been given an opportunity by the OPW to add a string to their bow, enabling them to encourage additional footfall through their doors with the OPW Loyalty Scheme.
“The Chamber and the local Heritage Society with the assistance of Tipperary Co. Co. have worked together over the past 18 months with the OPW to bring this scheme to Roscrea, but it is not entirely the role of the Chamber committee to make the scheme work.
“I now urge you the traders of our town to make that link with OPW work over the next two years and not to allow it to be broken. The only way forward is to work together as business people of the town, by working together a lot more can achieved.
One of the greatest advances of our time is the internet, online shopping is the biggest treat of this time to small retailers, this voucher can only be handed out in your premises with an over the counter transaction of €15 or more, these are the initiates we need to grasp and work with if we want to grow our business.
“So I ask all traders to promote the scheme as strongly as possible on your advertisements, Facebook pages and so on, to attract as many visitors as possible to Roscrea,” concluded Mr Browne.