Plans to review Cork County Council’s economic development activity, with the aim of maximising the positive impact of the Council’s actions, has been welcomed by the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy. The review aims to ensure that each town and its rural hinterland have the opportunity to develop to their full potential while having reference to the geographic spread of economic development around the County.
Mayor Murphy described the initiative as “critical to the economic development of the County and in particular for areas like Castletownbere which are located a long way from the large population centres. The fishing industry in Castletownbere, along with tourism, is a key employment provider and economic driver – this could and should be leveraged to increase the multiplier effect locally with added value activities and increased on-shore employment, possibly with the addition of some additional building infrastructure.”
Cork County Council has a proven track record in providing economic development infrastructure for facilitation of business growth and development throughout the county. Initiatives have varied from land provision for large companies, to serviced sites, to units rented to developing enterprises. Units have been developed suitable for food companies, including the new incubator kitchens, rentable by the hour – enabling micro-enterprises to avail of top grade kitchen facilities. These steps have culminated in employment growth, multiplier effects in the local economy, rates income for the Council, economic growth of peripheral areas and a good geographic spread of economic activity across County Cork.
The review will focus on identifying the particular needs and advantages of local rural towns and the most appropriate and impactful actions to be taken to maximise their potential. It will be carried out by suitably qualified development professionals and results of the review report will inform future policy development in Cork County Council. This will prove particularly important to rural areas far from Metropolitan Cork, such as Castletownbere, Bantry or Newmarket/ Kanturk, where actions need to address the inherent advantages of these areas to ensure their success. Examples include the fishing industry in Castletownbere or the engineering cluster in North Cork towns.