Our public affairs team is dialled into every issue relevant in Cork. We care about Cork, we know about Cork, and we campaign for Cork to be the best place to do business.
Explore some of our recent successes below to learn more about what we do to support you.
The Chamber vision for Ireland 2040 is for a high density City region with a diverse and resilient economy, with regional national and international connectivity, serviced by high quality transport corridors enabling a healthy, sustainable, educated, skilled, confident, and entrepreneurial community.
The Chamber campaign throughout the development of Ireland 2040 was for the plan to recognise Cork’s position as Irelands second city by way of growth projections and the alignment of capital expenditure and this approach has been validated in the published plan.
There is strong validation of Cork’s potential as Ireland’s second city region, with a larger percentage growth than Dublin and combined population growth equal to Limerick, Waterford and Galway combined.
There is welcome confirmation of existing projects such as the N22, Dunkettle Interchange, M28 and a commitment to get started on projects that have been stalled or are yet to begin. Most notably, there is a commitment to the M20 with full funding for delivery and planning for the eastern section of the Northern Ring Road. There is commitment to examine the feasibility of a high-speed rail connection between Cork and Dublin; a vision firmly endorsed by the Chamber.
There is a €2 billion urban regeneration fund, aimed for enabling places like theDocklands, but it will be competitive with countless national stakeholders eyeing the same pot.
There is a €500 millioninnovationfund, the detail of which we eagerly await.
Finally, Cork has received €200 million forpublic transportwhich must be used to develop a Rapid Transit Corridor to enable sustainable, enjoyable and appealing commuting and development patterns in our city region.
Transatlantic Connectivity from Cork to Boston
In 2017 transatlantic flights between Cork and the US commenced for the first time. Welcomed by all, securing the route was the result of a long, complex advocacy campaign led by a dedicated Airport team with Cork Chamber active at every step of the way.
For example, when the US Department of Transportation tentatively approved the proposed Cork-Boston flights in 2016 US unions quickly mobilised against the route. Chamber, in partnership with Cork Airport launched an extensive campaign aimed at gathering support among the business community in Cork, the East Coast and the South of Ireland, in addition to a range of external stakeholders. A campaign highlight was the route being discussed by Then Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Barack Obama leading to critical US Presidential support.
Ultimately, the pressure culminated in the EU commencing arbitration proceedings with the US over breach of the Open Skies Agreement shortly after which the US Department of Transportation issued the permit required.
Tier 1 Connectivity
From a digital connectivity perspective Metropolitan Cork boasts vital high capacity Tier 1 Express fibre connectivity. This offers the lowest latency in the EU to the East Coast of the US, connecting Cork with vital digital and financial markets in the US and UK. Our digital infrastructure enables the Cork area, making it ready to attract, further accommodate and grow Ireland’s national capacity and be the number one location for future investment from next generation digital and financial companies. Having identified the criticality of such enabling infrastructure, Cork Chamber advocated for this connectivity from the outset, lobbying government, state agencies and business interests extensively until the project announcement and final connection in 2015.
Cork Chamber emphasises the readiness of Metropolitan Cork in absorbing digital growth, and with specific emphasis on the ever-growing data centre industry we highlight the existing energy infrastructure, the regions unique position as a net exporter of energy to the national grid, and the characteristics of the region for even further development of renewable energy sources.
M20 Cork – Limerick Motorway
The M20 was cut from the agenda in the last financial crisis, an acknowledged necessity but a casualty of circumstance. Since then Cork Chamber has lobbied at every opportunity for it to be brought back to life.
In the lead up the development of Ireland 2040 and the 10-year capital plan we recognised the opportunity invigorate our message by collaborating with Limerick Chamber to substantiate our points. We jointly commissioned REDC and Indecon to prove what we all knew to be true, that the M20 would notably boost the economies of Cork, Limerick and the South West. Launched at the Summer Economic Statement, and used in a series of Governmental meetings, our report became the cornerstone of securing the M20 in the National Development Plan.
In acknowledgement, it was even confirmed by An Taoiseach months in advance, in the presence of a packed Chamber Members breakfast in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Purple Flag – Cork City Success
Cork City Centre holds the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation since 2015. This international award is for excellence in the evening and night time economy and signifies a well-managed, diverse, vibrant location with a wide offering of entertainment options including, shopping, theatre, dining and cultural venues. To retain the award, Cork City Centre is assessed annually under the five thematic areas, Wellbeing, Movement, Appeal, Place and Policy. As a member of the Cork City Centre Forum, Cork Chamber led out this initiative in 2015 and on behalf of the Forum. The award application engages with a broad range of public, private and volunteer sector services and representatives from across the City and we in Cork Chamber are proud to play our part in promoting our beautiful City.