Monday 25 March 2019

Cork is at economic risk due to a "chronic under investment"

Maria Herlihy

Chronic under investment in regional infrastructure is placing the economy and future jobs at risk and the over reliance of the capital is "jeopardising" the region as it struggles to meet demand. 

That was the viewpoint of Pat Lucey, President of the Ireland Chapter of PMI (Project Management Institute). In Cork over 300 delegates attended the Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute's (PMI) sold-out annual national conference. 

It was the first time the conference was held outside of Dublin and Mr Lucey said: "As the national body of project managers in Ireland, it was important for the Chapter to move outside of the capital for its national conference - decentralisation delivers advantages across all sectors; from government departments to multi-nationals.." 

He also said: "Chronic under-investment in regional infrastructure is placing our economy, and future projects, at risk. There is huge opportunity for economic growth in Ireland over the next 20 years. However, over-reliance on the Dublin region is jeopardising this growth as it struggles to meet demand."

The conference, with headline sponsor EY, heard that strategic project management of regional infrastructure is vital to ensure stabilisation and future growth of the Irish economy. Mr Lucey stated that while Ireland should be the default location for companies seeking to relocate from the UK into an EU country, a disproportionate focus placed on Dublin is reducing Ireland's competitiveness. 

"With the capital feeling the worst effects of the housing crisis - rents there are 8.8 per cent higher than just a year ago - this is negatively impacting desired international investment. Joined-up thinking - or 'good project management' - is required to ensure the regional investment promises made in Project Ireland 2040 are actioned to make each of our regional cities a viable option for business," he said. 

Incentives for regionalisation highlighted at the conference include the long-awaited rural broadband network, and high-speed road and rail links between all Irish major cities, including Cork, Limerick, Galway and Dublin. 

Themed 'From Idea to Reality', the sold-out conference at Fota Island Resort examined how large-scale international projects can be facilitated in Ireland. The conference also showcased how effective project management principles can successfully bring projects of all sizes from conception to completion.