WATCH: Report identifies opportunities and threats to Limerick’s economic progress

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey


LIMERICK’S broad spectrum of different industries along with relatively affordable housing, low congestion and the low cost of living have all been identified as significant strengths of both the city and county. 

A major economic data profiling report for Limerick, carried out by EY-DKM Economic Advisory, has found that Limerick has many strengths when it comes to attracting future investment. 

Overall, the findings of the economic profile were “incredibly positive” according to senior consultant with EY-DKM Economic Advisory Ciara Morely. 

“Limerick City and County Council, and its stakeholders, have taken major strides over the past number of years in tackling longstanding issues in the county,” Ms Morely said.

“The labour market has shown strong signs of improvement and the revitalisation of the city centre is well underway with the development of key projects under Limerick 2030.” 

“The key opportunity now for Limerick is to position as an attractive destination for FDI in light of Brexit.”

“Relative to the other Irish cities Limerick is already in a strong position with its competitive cost of living and doing business but there is no doubt that the supply of high quality office space coming on-stream and the Council’s ability to address infrastructural issues such as transport and broadband connectivity will only act to enhance Limerick’s offering to international markets further.”

According to the 199-page report, Limerick’s broad spectrum of different industries,affordable housing, low cost of living and quality of education were identified as significant strengths of both the city and county. 

However,  a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis also identified that “lingering” issues to do with Limerick city’s reputation “would likely be a burden on the region’s progress should it persist over the medium to long-term.” 

“Issues around crime and social deprivation in the city remain problematic in terms of reputation, despite the significant progress which has been made in recent years,” the report states.

“Limerick has taken great strides over the past decade to address the crime problem which previously existed, and has successfully reduced violent crime from its peak in around 2007.” 

Other threats identified during the SWOT analysis include Brexit, the potential closure of air routes to US or European destinations, and the viability of train routes. 

The report also identified Brexit as a positive opportunity for Limerick, with both the city and county in a prime position to attract Foreign Direct Investment. 

The report also recommends that the “hollowing-out” of the city centre, as well as social deprivation and unemployment blackspots are tackled but acknowledges the positive work being carried out in these areas. 

“Reversing the hollowing out of the city core is a priority, as vibrant cities with critical mass are increasingly attractive to international business and workers,” the report states.

“The Council is taking a number of steps that are contributing to this, and the wider business community is also becoming more active.” 

Launching the report, Mayor Cllr James Collins said: “Limerick is the urban success story of the recovery and this report confirms that while realising there continues to be ongoing challenges.”