LIMERICK has excelled in this year’s European Cities of the Future Awards, winning in six categories.
Among the honours claimed at the prestigious awards was the city’s success in the prestigious ‘Ones to Watch’ category. Limerick also took top spot in the Development Plan; Education; Skills and Training; Encouraging Innovation; Incentives and Project Wins categories.
Mayor James Collins said the awards were further international recognition of the remarkable transformation in Limerick.
“Five years ago Limerick City and County Council looked into the future to see what type of Limerick we would like to have in 2030. The aim was to create 12,000 jobs in 15 years,” he explained.
“Those 12,000 new jobs were created in just five years. There has been over €1billion invested in Limerick’s economy. We are partners in pilot projects to make Limerick a Smart City that maximises technology, and clean energy.”
He added that Limerick was a top-tier region for FDI companies where “executives and workers can have a nice lifestyle, 30 minutes from an international airport.
“We are planning improvements to our transport system and to our public realm, and using our planning laws to encourage inner city business and inner city living. The councillors, the council executive, Limerick 2030, and our third level institutions are all working together to build a city that’s attractive to foreign direct investment, that’s attractive to students, that’s attractive to tourists, and that’s home for Limerick people.”
Council chief executive Conn Murray described the awards success as “another benchmark moment for our city”.
“Being selected as the winner of the ‘One to Watch’ category, in particular, is a head-turner for us when it comes to the FDI market awareness as to what Limerick offers. There’s an ambition and hunger about Limerick today in that it rightly wants to be a city that is considered to be among the most attractive in Europe when it comes to inward investment,” he said.
Mr Murray also pointed out that that total number of jobs created in Limerick up to the end of November this year has already reached a five-year high of 3,022.
“That couldn’t be done without having the building blocks in place and that has only come about through the collective effort of all key stakeholders across the region. We have very much arrived as an international city and these awards declare that. We just need to continue to tell our fantastic story to the market in a compelling way; not just of a city that has transformed but a city that is as competitive and offers as much as any other in Europe today.”
by Kathy Masterson