Good Practice Database - Country - IE - Trial Kilkenny
Good Practice Database

Trial Kilkenny

Practice on:

To promote Trail Kilkenny as the one stop shop for all trails in Kilkenny.  One Vision one Goal – easily managed.  “Trail Kilkenny Ltd will lead and facilitate the development, management and promotion of a range of high quality walking, cycling and other leisure trails for the benefit of visitors and residents of County Kilkenny”.

Practical details:
NUTS 2: IE02 Southern and Eastern
Start date: 2007
Type of initiative:  public-private partnership
Description of the practice:

To use trails to promote the distinct natural environment of the county, and to use Trail Kilkenny to boost the whole Kilkenny brand is great.

The establishment of this business in itself, taken over from Kilkenny Leader Partnership, is good.  There is no direct reference to policy but, a recognition that Trail Kilkenny Ltd could be the key driver for tourism in Kilkenny.  It's also envisaged that the company with get various public sector sources to completion of the current trails.

Trail Kilkenny is managed by Rural Recreation Officer employed through KLP, Trail Kilkenny has some stakeholder groups operating as supporting networks to the company, particularly for the Craft Trail and Food Trail.Kilkenny Food Trail has 38 participants and Kilkenny Craft Trail has currently 9 participants.

There are 11 Walking Trails developed to the Fáilte Ireland standard with another 3 under development.  The flagship is the part-completed Noire Valley Walk.
There are 2 cycle trails which are partly developed but poorly signed.  In the case of walking and cycling trails there is considerable work to be done to complete the existing products, providing sufficient signage and furniture both on the routes and to indicate start points.  It is estimated that 288,000 euros is needed to complete this work, it is envisaged that the company will be able to find capital from KLP (the parent Leader Company) and various other public sector sources.
In 2010 Trail Kilkenny had satisfied the initial aspirations of the project but that while initial capital investment had been found there were ongoing revenue implications for maintenance, marketing and promotion to stimulate usage.  
Trail Kilkenny decided that a Marketing Strategy and Business Plan were needed.  This was to identify ways in which the walking and other trails could find ongoing revenue streams.
The work done dealt with the Brand, Destination Management, Road Signage and local Direction Signs.  A Visitor Focus for Trail Kilkenny was to be located in the Kilkenny TIC and special promotional equipment provided for the key outlets, including hotels.  A detailed and costed plan has been prepared.
Further visitor infrastructure to complete the trails has been proposed.  This includes signage, visitor shelters, listening posts, way marking signs, viewpoints etc.

A full schedule of income generating project has been prepared.  The possibility of Trail Kilkenny Visitor Payback Scheme has been assessed.  Various new events and festivals are considered as possible revenue earning opportunities.
The company now has a fully costed Business Plan that considers product development, income generation, promotional material and a marketing action.
The proposals are modest, taking account of Trail Kilkenny being a small company.  Much will depend on the company being able to make the income creation measures work.  The overall plan is to be key driver for tourism in Kilkenny, promote the distinct natural environment of the county through trails and use Trail Kilkenny to boost the whole Kilkenny brand.  They also hope to create new trails as well as develop trail-related events.  Take advantage of all income generation opportunity.
TK also is threatened by failing to achieve income generation plans, failing to raise capital for the ongoing programme and lastly disputes with land owners over routes through their property.

Evidence of success
Biological/biodiversity values:

Kilkenny boasts vast open landscape for all to enjoy.  It boasts a unique selection of historic sites and buildings from the 7th century.

Visual impact and recreational value:

To develop a suite of trails To cover all potential uses including walking and cycling trails, heritage trails and producer trails, featuring the best craft and food production in the county.
Trail Kilkenny encourages using recreational land, and also drawing more awareness to the area in general, by people visiting.

Cultural heritage:

Promoting the area.

Environmental impact:

Trail Kilkenny is yet again another company that uses the place name to promote its business.  By doing this it promotes not only its only company but draws attention and interest to the City of Kilkenny and the surrounding area.
It doesn’t have any significant impact on the environment as it involves people enjoying the open country air and landscape.

Economic viability:

Trail Kilkenny is managed by the Rural Recreation Officer employed through KLP with funding from the relevant Government department.  No other staff are employed.  This project attracts significat investment in the Kilkenny area.

If this Trail Kilkenny plan is implemented and succeeds it will be a useful model for many other similar projects.

Contact details:
Name: Trail Kilkenny
Organisation: Trail Kilkenny
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Completed on:
Date added: 8.9.2011  Hits: 130
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