9 December 2020
By Tom Collins
Delivery of strategic road infrastructure upgrades including such as the N28 Cork-Ringaskiddy, the Dunkettle Interchange, the Northern Ring Road, the M20 Cork-Limerick and N25 Cork-Rosslare…
Ibec is calling on Government to be ambitious and seize the opportunities being presented by the economic recovery to enhance the quality of life of Cork’s regional economy. This is among the key messages of the Ibec Regional Insights Series event, taking place online this year on Thursday 10 December.
Ibec Senior Regional Policy Executive, Helen Leahy said: “While Covid has dominated much of the agenda in 2020, it must not be forgotten that even before this current crisis, the Cork region was facing systemic economic and societal issues such as Brexit, climate change and funding deficits in critical infrastructure investment. While it is difficult to quantify what the eventual economic impact of the pandemic will be on the regions, it is undoubtedly being exacerbated by pre-existing challenges and regional disparities.
“One of the most effective means of stimulating regional economies is by investing in infrastructure including housing, education, transport, broadband and health, which all play vital roles in making urban centres vibrant and attractive places in which to live.
“Cork needs critical infrastructure to enhance regional connectivity and competitiveness, which are central to supporting economic recovery. The long-term strategic development of Ringaskiddy port for example will be enhanced by ensuring the port is served by high-quality roads which will improve access. Accessibility to strategic infrastructure is essential to the functioning of a strong regional economy and must be prioritised to unlock regional growth. Improved port access will also become increasingly important considering the possible implications of Brexit.
“The economic recovery from Covid presents a golden opportunity to reimagine how we shape our society and economy to enhance the overall quality of life. Innovative actions must be taken now to build economic resilience and stimulate the regional economies to mitigate the lasting impacts of these systemic issues.
“Addressing infrastructure deficits and tapping into the economic potential that remains unused in our regions is essential to move forward. Doing so will significantly enhance the overall national economic recovery effort.”
Ibec’s key priorities to underpin regional recovery and growth include:
- Speedy roll-out of the National Broadband Plan and the 5G mobile network
- Development of smart cities and revitalising town centres to reboot and reimagine urban centres
- Investing in skills, education and research and embedding a Technological University in the region
- Delivery of strategic road infrastructure upgrades including such as the N28 Cork-Ringaskiddy, the Dunkettle Interchange, the Northern Ring Road, the M20 Cork-Limerick and N25 Cork-Rosslare
- Overhaul the regime for planning consents and appeals to reduce capital project delivery timelines
An improved and more integrated citywide public transport system including light-rail and BusConnects should be progressed
- The right housing and tenure mix and targeted infrastructure spend to unlock sites capable of delivering large scale housing developments