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‘Zoom town’ revolution - Waterford bids to attract remote workers to sunny south-east

Cost of living ‘about one-third of Dublin and property prices are about half of the capital’, says council chief executive

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Waterford city, home to Waterford IT (pictured), aims to become a 'Zoom Town' for workers who until the coronavirus outbreak had to commute to Dublin and Cork.

Waterford city, home to Waterford IT (pictured), aims to become a 'Zoom Town' for workers who until the coronavirus outbreak had to commute to Dublin and Cork.

Waterford city, home to Waterford IT (pictured), aims to become a 'Zoom Town' for workers who until the coronavirus outbreak had to commute to Dublin and Cork.

Ireland’s oldest city is set to spearhead a 'Zoom Town' revolution which aims to capitalise on the remote working legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Waterford has launched a dedicated programme as part of its ambitious new marketing strategy to target workers who, until the coronavirus outbreak, had to commute daily to Dublin and Cork.

Now, Waterford is hoping to persuade workers – and employers – of the long-term advantages of a base in the south-east capital or its surrounding towns.
It is part of a strategy aimed at helping reverse population drift towards the greater Dublin region.

Waterford City and County Council chief executive Michael Walsh pointed out that the advantages offered are significant.

"Our cost competitiveness – if you want to put it that way – is a really significant strength,” he said.

"The cost of living here is about one-third of what it is in Dublin and property prices are about half of what they are there in reality.

"We need to build on that and communicate that not just to employees but to employers and start-ups."

High speed broadband has underlined the ability of workers to operate successfully away from offices in major cities.

One study revealed 86pc of Irish workers wanted the option of being able to remote work from either home or hubs near their home.

Chamber of Commerce president Danette Connolly is proof of the attraction of the south-east – a New Zealander, she relocated to Waterford and loves her life in Ireland's oldest city which was founded by Vikings several decades before Dublin.

Greater Waterford currently has a population of 55,000 – and hopes to reach 80,000 by 2040.

Greater Dublin, in contrast, is now home to one-in-four Irish residents.

Whereas Waterford is hoping to add 25,000 residents to its population over the next 19 years, Dublin added 22,100 new residents in 2019.

Greater Dublin now has a population of approximately 1.9m.


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