Cork Chamber stepping up efforts to attract British investment to Leeside

Barrie O'Connell: Says Cork has a compelling offering.

Cork Chamber is stepping up its efforts to attract inward investment from Britain with a targeted London event for the city’s business leaders at the end of the month.

The business representative body is to gather 100 or so business leaders from London and Cork to highlight the attractiveness of the city to potential UK investors.

With the UK referendum result in June adding to uncertainty for UK firms, Cork Chamber is keen to stress the benefits of doing business in Ireland and Cork’s “compelling offering” in particular, according to Chamber president Barrie O’Connell.

“We have the talent. Our relative cost base is in a good place generally right now and we have the infrastructure of eight flights a day into the UK to enable people to continue to do business there and also branch into Europe,” he said.

“And as importantly we have a very strong quality of life and I think, relatively, our congestion levels, commuting times and ability to have a good work-life balance is a strong offering.”

Among the delegation travelling to London will be the Lord Mayor of Cork Des Cahill and County Mayor Seamus McGrath, Cork City Council chief executive Ann Doherty, Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey, and representatives from University College Cork (UCC) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT).

The heads of three Cork-based firms will also take part in a panel discussion highlighting the city’s strengths. Teamwork founder Peter Coppinger will be joined by Peter Kane of Citco Fund Services and Tyco Ireland general manager Donal Sullivan.

While the UK’s Brexit vote is an added driver of the Chamber event, its origins go back 12 months to when a Cork delegation travelled to London for last year’s FDI Forum.

Mr O’Connell said: “We needed to communicate Cork’s offering and that’s become more acute given the Brexit vote because many companies will need an EU presence. We have an English-speaking workforce and when people are thinking of Ireland it’s not just Dublin, it could be Cork or beyond.”

The event will be held in London’s Bloomsbury Hotel on September 27.


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