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Nicknamed the “capital of the south”, Cork is the second largest city in Ireland. As the largest economic hub after Dublin, it is becoming a top choice for startups and multinationals looking to expand their business in one of the key economic bases in the EU.   

Traditionally, businesses would have selected Dublin as a base because of the large talent pool and location. However, Cork has been named the fifth overall best city in Europe for economic potential and is becoming the center of industrial and economic expansion.  

Over the next 20 years, it is set to be the fastest-growing city in Ireland, with an expected population growth of 50%.  

Cork has reinvented itself as a European business hub for the tech and pharmaceutical industries, attracting investment from large-scale multinationals such as Amazon, Novartis, Pfizer, etc. The food and drink industry is also key in Cork; it is where Murphy’s Irish stout, the main rival to Guinness, is brewed. The surrounding countryside also makes it an important location for the agriculture industry.  

The city has become a top choice for investors due to the large pool of graduates across a variety of disciplines from University College Cork and The Cork Institute of Technology.  

Cork has a business eco-system that is highly innovative, supportive, and collaborative. According to the National Planning Framework, a strategic long-term plan to develop and strengthen Ireland’s economy, Cork is set to play a key role as the economic powerhouse of southern Ireland.   

The Population Expansion – Project Ireland 2040  

Project Ireland 2040 is the government’s long-term overarching strategy to make Ireland a better country for all of its people. It will drive investment to all regions within Ireland, increasing economic growth and leading to the creation of more jobs.  

Under this plan, Cork is set to become the fastest-growing region and the city will see the largest regeneration project in Ireland. Projects include a new transport infrastructure, updated cycling, and walking routes, modern housing, and a general urban renewal. 

The government’s plan emphasised that developing Cork’s potential is crucial to further enhance Ireland’s metropolitan profile. The framework states that “This requires an ambitious vision for Cork, at the heart of which must be an internationally competitive, sustainable urban environment.”  

It is expected that by 2040, approximately 60,000 additional jobs will be created across a diverse range of industries such as engineering, mechanical, and life sciences.   

This growth and evolution that Cork is undergoing will increase its economic development and improve the quality of life of residents of Cork.  

Furthermore, The Cork City Development Plan 2022-2028, a plan that sets out how the city will grow and develop over the next six years, now sits within a suite of Strategic Plans and recognises Cork’s status as an emerging international city of scale and a national driver of economic growth. This recognition by the government means a commitment of Exchequer funding into the city that ensures the completion of many big projects.   

The Development Plan will allow the creation of 21,200 homes in the city centre and Docklands as well as key growth areas such as Blackpool, Blarney, Ballyvolane, Douglas, and Glanmire. Specifically, Docklands will facilitate 20,000 new homes and approximately 25000 jobs.   

Cork is full of potential, and its people have a shared vision for the city that is progressive, dynamic yet sustainable, and full of opportunities. Cork’s growth isn’t slowing down anytime soon. 

If you are looking to expand or relocate staff to Cork get in touch with our friendly team to find out how we can support you and your team.

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