We were commissioned by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to produce a Retail and Leisure Capacity study to inform the emerging Local Plan to 2030. As the District Council was established in April 2015 by the Northern Ireland Local Government Reform Programme, the Study was the first of its type in the area. The key centres for consideration were Enniskillen and Omagh.
We undertook extensive consultations with local traders, market agents and councillors to inform our Study. We also commissioned a household telephone survey of 600 local residents to identify current market share patterns and to examine retailing expenditure across the region and within the Republic of Ireland.
Our assessment found that the District provides well for its residents and that the centres of Omagh and Enniskillen were both vital and viable. However, we also identified a range of challenges faced by both areas. This included the impact a consolidation of schools would have on Omagh Town Centre, along with the recent boost in shoppers arriving in Enniskillen from the Republic.
Taking these factors into account, our advice allowed us to effectively forecast the area’s retail and leisure needs forward to 2030, enabling the Council to construct a sustainable Local Plan.