27 July 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Despite confidence in the Irish economy resting at 48% among members of the business community, and notwithstanding the pandemic, Brexit and climate change, sentiment remains high and businesses remain resolutely focussed on a positive future for Cork says a major report launched today by Cork Chamber of Commerce.
Almost 1,000 people engaged in a series of sectoral think tanks and an open survey to identify the best route to a resilient and sustainable recovery for Cork. Each discussion was guided by the Chambers commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Paula Cogan, Chamber President said
“Despite the intense and acute need to keep books balanced and people in work, in the creation of this report discussion passionately and relentlessly turned to the future vision of Cork.”
“Across each of our ten sectoral think tanks the same themes emerged time and time again. Better public and sustainable transport infrastructure. A quickened rollout of the National Broadband Plan. More people living in the heart of our city and towns. Flexible working. Enhancement and protection of ecology, from the planting of trees to wildflower verges. Renewable energy. Real equality for people of any gender, race or background. Childcare. Competitiveness and talent attraction. Focus on our international reputation and our approach to international markets.”
Conor Healy, Chamber CEO said
“Connected public transport, cycleways and green spaces are the top three priorities of over 800 people who set forth their views in our open survey. 57% cited quality of life as the main differentiator for Cork and 86% said Cork should strive to be European Green Capital in five years’ time.”
“It is entirely possible and within our gift to make this a reality. There is a role for communities, businesses, and government to relentlessly pursue this vision. There is no shortage of vision or formal plans for Cork. Now our focus must now be on delivery or we will fade to irrelevance.”
“Beyond the July stimulus, and into the October Budget and National Economic Plan these differentiators must be the absolute focus. Government, local and national must create a real visible legacy, a real change in how Cork operates. There is one question that this report cannot satisfactorily answer: What are we waiting for?