Chamber Awards 2019 – Most Successful Policy Campaign

The policy and public affairs activities of Chambers are an important representative function Chambers are active in on behalf of their members. Running a successful campaign is not easy but the benefits of a successful campaign can bring real positive change to business.

Shortlisted Projects for the Most Successful Policy Campaign award category:

Carlow Chamber – 30 Minutes Free Parking in Carlow Town

The retail environment in Carlow, like many other towns across Ireland suffered during the downturn in the economy.  Carlow Chamber identified that better access was needed to ensure customers could visit businesses on the high streets and parking was creating a barrier. 

The Chamber engaged with several stakeholders including businesses located on the town’s main streets and the public who live and work in Carlow and the surrounding area. This engagement highlighted a lack of available spaces for short turn around parking and strict parking enforcement in the town as barriers to customers supporting local businesses.

The focus of the campaign was not to bring about free parking on a full-time basis but rather to make local businesses more accessible for customers by providing 30 minutes free parking on designated streets in the town.

Cork Chamber – Gearing up for the M20 Cork – Limerick Motorway

The M20 campaign saw Cork and Limerick Chambers successfully build a case for the M20 to be given Government go-ahead. Targeting the National Development Plan and Ireland 2040, the campaign provided evidence for the economic, social and transport reasons to prioritise the motorway, uniting business across Munster in the process.

As step one, the two chambers agreed a narrative to underpin the M20 campaign. The messaging focused on the economic benefits to Ireland as a whole, the Mid-West and the South-West stemming from improved road connectivity though investment in the motorway.

Acknowledging the objectives of the National Planning Framework, the Chambers placed particular emphasis on the need for Ireland as a country to ensure that ‘not all roads lead to Dublin’ and instead rebalance growth to create more opportunities outside the Capital. The campaign thus highlighted potential jobs growth that could be unlocked on IDA sites located along the M20 corridor, opportunities for improving national competitiveness through better connectivity between Shannon Foynes and the Port of Cork, and labour market benefits arising from pooling talent and employment in Ireland’s second and third cities. In parallel, the campaign recognised the safety and transport benefits associated with the project.

Dundalk Chamber – The M1 Corridor region

The initiative was a response to the Draft National Plan which saw Dundalk downgraded from Gateway status.  Dundalk Chamber recognised Government’s reasoning and worked with Louth County Council in their submission on Dundalk/Drogheda.  Dundalk Chamber developed a more ambitious proposal based on the linear city of Drogheda-Dundalk-Newry.

This work showed that the region’s potential was not being utilised and that the perception of those outside the area needed to be challenged. The National Plan embraced the Chamber’s concept Drogheda – Dundalk – Newry.

This initiative was designed to collate data, present the region and develop a clear identity of the area in terms as set out in the videos and to engage with agencies and investors.  The information had to be capable of robust challenge and based on facts. The aim was to develop a clear message and had to be delivered in every platform, particularly the use of a website with video and Social Media.

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