The Rise of Cork
Cork is finally seeing some real signs of sustainable growth, having grossly lagged behind Dublin over the last number of years. I believe a key driver in this increased activity is the professional talent that Cork currently possesses and continues to attract from around the globe. Ray O’ Connor and his team at IDA Ireland is doing a fantastic job in attracting these companies to Cork and the South West region. Conor Healy and his team at the Cork Chamber work tirelessly to represent the region both locally and abroad.
We have seen multinational companies like MSD, Lilly, Janssen, De Puy, Pfizer, Biomarin investing heavily in their facilities recently. The decision to invest in their Cork facilities ahead of other location throughout the world is primarily down to the ability to undertake and implement production of products effectively.
In the Technology space, we have seen substantial investment in Cork in recent years with the likes of Forcepoint, DataStax, Cylance, eSentire, Malwarebytes and Teamwork announcing significant investments in their Cork facilities. These decisions are made taking numerous factors in account. However, the ability to attract talent is one of the key drivers in these decisions.
Developers like O’Flynn Group, JCD and O’Callaghan Properties are currently constructing high specification office schemes in Cork City and in Ballincollig. These developments will allow the IDA to continue to attract investment to the region. Conor O’Connell and the team at the CIF have undertaken huge work to ensure that the construction industry in the region improves and grows in a sustainable manner.
The landscape of Cork is changing before our eyes for the better and I truly hope this continues. The Government needs to continue to invest in Infrastructural projects to support Corks continued growth. The Dunkettle Interchange project is important, however, there are numerous other projects that need to be expedited, including the Cork to Limerick Motorway and the Northern Ring Road. The planning system in Ireland needs to be reviewed to allow these projects to begin within acceptable time frames. The recent announcement by Apple of its decision to scrap its planned Data Centre in Athenry was primarily down to the Planning process being grossly manipulated.
Cork and Ireland as a whole need’s to be forwarding thinking to ensure inward investment continues. Many other cities across Europe are looking closely at the recent success of Cork in attracting this inwards investment. Cork needs to continually improve and develop to stay relevant. Everyone in Cork needs to work hard collectively to maintain the region’s status as a destination of choice into the future.
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