Competitiveness through Strategic Governance

Competitiveness through Strategic Governance

“In 1772, in the fourth year of publication, the Cork Hibernian Chronicle was distributed by courier to twenty-six towns: eighteen of these were in Co. Cork, five in Kerry (including Tralee and Dingle), and two in Co. Waterford (Tallow and Lismore). The inhabitants of all those towns looked primarily to Cork as the economic centre; when trade was brisk in Cork city, times were good to a greater or lesser extent in every market town.” David Dickson; Old World Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630-1830, xii.

Competitiveness through Strategic Governance - Policy

Local leadership and strategic governance are key elements in driving competitiveness and regional development.  Successful economic regions are characterised by strong inter-agency collaborative partnerships which proactively drive strategies for economic growth.  Stakeholders in Cork have long recognised the importance of a strategic approach.    Published in 2001, Cork Area Strategic Plan (CASP) is a pioneering initiative led by Cork City and County Councils and involving both national and local stakeholders, which sets out a vision and strategy for the sustainable development of the Cork City Region up to 2020. CASP is the current manifestation of an integrated, non statutory planning process which has been in place in Cork since 1978 with the introduction of the Land Use and Transportation Study (LUTS).  In that period, a co-ordinated sub-regional planning approach has guided planning and development of the metropolitan Cork area through two recessions and the transition from traditional industries (textiles, car manufacture, ship building) to the current sectors of ICT, biopharma, medical technologies, energy and international services. 

The Cork Smart Gateway has recently been established by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute to identify and deploy smart solutions to seize emerging opportunities, solve regional challenges and enhance the reputation of Cork as an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest. The Smart Gateway will create a forum to allow these organisations to share and collaborate together while also marketing the Cork region as a smart destination internationally.

 

Competitiveness through Strategic Governance - Stats and Facts

Cork City’s commercial rental cost are currently estimated as being less than half those of Dublin City for an equivalent property 

With 275,600 employed, the South Western Region accounts for 14% of total national employment, 16% of national industry employment and a fifth of total national high-tech manufacturing employment. Cork City is home to 146 overseas companies that employ more than 28,500 people.  The City was voted no.1 small city for business friendliness in Europe, by FDI Magazine in 2014/2015. 

Cork City is a significant centre for 3rd level education with one of the country’s leading Universities (UCC) and a major Institute of Technology (CIT). Annually the City caters for a full and part-time 3rd level student population of over 33,000. UCC and CIT graduated over 2,100 under-grads and 688 post-grads in STEM related subjects in 2014-2015. UCC’s National Tyndall Institute is a global leader in integrated ICT research, having over 220 industry global partners and is home to over 450 researchers, engineers, students and support staff from 38 different countries.

A population of approximately 520,000 persons live within 60kms of Cork Airport with over 1.2 million living within a 90-minute drive. Commercial rental costs in Cork (per sq. ft.) are less than half the price of Dublin for an equivalent property. Residential rental costs in Cork are on average over 30% lower than Dublin, with residential property prices being notably lower when comparing similar areas of both cities[1].

The Cork City ELU Survey 2011 found a total of 4,331 employers in the city, providing 71,577 jobs. The vast majority of businesses (96%) in the City employ less than 50 employees, while a small proportion (4%) employ between 50 and 4000 employees. However 38% of the total jobs in the City (27,300 jobs) are provided by just 33 employers, each having 250 or more employees.

 

[1] Source: “Why Cork? Why now? “Report (JCD & PWC)  2015