Topic of the practice
Central resource for living, working and doing business in the West of Ireland
Good Practice Information
Look West.IE is a good example how a website can be used in tackling massive population decline in an area. The Western Development Commission (WDC) has been successful in responding to the challenge through its regional strategies including the promotion of the benefits of living, working and doing business in the area through LookWest.ie. LookWest.ie has given the WDC an opportunity to work with organisations and high profile individuals to act as ambassadors for the Region. By nurturing these relationships the WDC encourages international micro-enterprises to locate in the Region, resulting in more investment and jobs. The website works as a central resource for living, divided in 2 sections:
- West Living: incorporates themes relevant to quality of life by moving West such as cost of living, access, education...
- West Enterprise: includes themes which support new businesses and those looking for a new career such as skilled workforce, access, supports.
The project can be transferred to any region with positive assets to both living and working in and who wish to communicate that message by web portal.
Evidence of success
Since LookWest.ie was launched in 2004, the website has had over 1 million visitors and attracts an average of 8,000 monthly unique visitors mainly from the UK, USA and Australia.
A number of enterprises have re-located to the Region thanks to LookWest.ie.
Social media has been employed as a key mechanism to promote the initiative with LookWest.ie having 7,200 Facebook friends, 4,100 Twitter, 1,235 Instagram and 101 LinkedIn followers in July 2013.
Other activities include promoting online discussion, for example, best online retail website to encourage shopping local in the West. The website also promotes important events such as the Volvo Ocean Race and 3rd level college events relating to enterprise.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Ms. Mary Keaveney
Western Development Commission