February 5, 2018
Ireland must acknowledge the value of investment in city regions of scale. This was the key message from Chamber President Bill O’Connell at Cork Chamber’s Annual Dinner attended by more than 1,000 business leaders in Cork City Hall Friday evening.
While highlighting Cork’s unique offering as a business location, Mr. O’Connell spoke of Cork’s future place within the Ireland 2040 plan and Government’s forthcoming capital investment programme:
“Cork will be the fastest growing region in the country for the next two decades. We are ready for this challenge. But let me be clear. Government must be ready to allocate investment accordingly and acknowledge the potential of Ireland’s second city to substantially strengthen Ireland’s metropolitan profile.”
The Chamber President went on to reference key investment requirements for Cork and Ireland’s proposition to be elevated globally:
“Cork Chamber calls for commitment by Government to invest in Cork’s public transport needs. A rapid transit system to enable our city region. High speed rail connecting Cork and Dublin. We call for recognition of Cork’s Docklands as a national strategic asset, a space where people will enact Government’s vision of living and working in a vibrant high-density city.”
The President also called out the need for Ireland to become better at forward planning and delivery for the country to remain competitive, specifically mentioning supply of rental accommodation and housing:
“Affordable apartments to rent are essential to enable economic growth. Their delivery are critical if we are to have a housing stock that meets the needs of an increasingly mobile and dynamic workforce. We have a vision for Cork to be smart, sustainable and high density city. Cork should grow up and not out.”
“Every one of us is a shareholder in the future of Cork” the Chamber President reminded dinner guests before encouraging all to continue driving forward in 2018 with the same level of optimism and confidence currently evident throughout business in Cork.