THE biggest stumbling block in securing foreign direct investment in the Limerick region is the image of the city according to IDA Ireland’s regional manager Sean Denvir.
While Limerick is, according to Mr Denvir, a “proven location” for FDI with many of the world’s largest companies having significant operations in the region, if he could, he said, he would “wave a magic wand” to create “a really vibrant, alive city centre buzzing day and night”.
His comments came during an IDA presentation to members of Limerick County Council when he was asked by Cllr Stephen Keary for his honest opinion on what were the biggest stumbling blocks preventing foreign direct investment in this region.
Mr Denvir, who is the IDA regional manager of the Mid-West region, said he was “a glass half full kind of person” so he found the question difficult.
“If I was to pick one it would be the image and the development of the city,” he admitted.
“I think great things are happening now in terms of the unification of the local authorities etc. If I could wave a magic wand I would love to see a really vibrant, alive city centre buzzing day and night. I would like to see a place with activity happening and new investment, a place spic-and-span and really attractive to people coming here,” he continued.
The meeting heard how Limerick is marketed internationally as a city of 90,000 people and as the third city in Ireland.
“We have a fantastic base of foreign direct investment companies in Limerick and the Mid-West region already,” continued Mr Denvir who said the region had a lot going for it in terms of education and demographics.
“In terms of third level colleges, it is a very, very good educational centre. There are 450,000 people living within a one hour commute of Limerick,” he added.