BUSINESS: Cork must #MaintainMomentum with planning and investment

2 July 2018
By Elaine Murphy

Without adequate planning and investment, Cork will fail to capitalise on economic potential – Ibec

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today outlined the policy initiatives that will best position Cork and the region in capitalising on its economic potential. The group was addressing business leaders at the Cork launch of its new national campaign Better Lives, Better Business, championing new policies across four key pillars – housing, infrastructure, planning and sustainability.

Better Lives, Better Business is a campaign that aims to make Ireland a better place to live and to work so that Irish businesses can more effectively attract and retain talent (see brochure attached).

Speaking ahead of the launch in Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Ibec Cork Regional President and Global Head of Manufacturing at Teleflex, James Winters, said: “Cork is a prime example of the need for planning and investment across the four pillars of Ibec’s Better Lives, Better Business campaign. Under the Government’s Project 2040, Cork is set to become the fastest-growing city in the State over the next 20 years, with some predicting the population could treble.

“In order to ensure Cork is sufficiently placed to deal with the challenges posed by this population growth, it is imperative that measures are taken to increase the supply of affordable housing, deliver the right infrastructure, overhaul the regime for planning consents and appeals, and embed sustainability in development activity.”

Some of the key policies Ibec is championing include:

  • Upgrade strategic road infrastructure, including the N8/N25 Dunkettle Interchange, M20 Cork to Limerick, N22 Macroom to Ballyvourney, Cork Northern Ring Road, and N28 Cork to Ringaskiddy
  • Invest in public transport across metropolitan Cork to meet population increase
  • Overhaul the regime for planning consents and appeals to ensure fewer projects get delayed
  • Facilitate an increase in the supply of good-quality social and affordable housing
  • Target infrastructure spend to unlock sites capable of delivering large-scale housing developments in Cork
  • Provide sufficient funding to enable the higher education institutions in Cork to cater for significant population growth and meet growing demand for STEM employment in biopharma, ICT, food, medical technology and financial services
  • Ensure speedy award of the National Broadband Plan contract and deliver high-speed broadband (30Mbps +) to both urban and rural communities in Cork and the region
  • Develop the Docklands (City Docks and Tivoli) and support urban renewal
  • Deliver infrastructure to improve liveability and the attractiveness of Cork from a cultural, tourism, and economic perspective.

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