More than 120 business leaders believe that the development of the Opera Centre and construction of the M20 motorway are “critical” for the economic success of the mid-west region.
Business people from across Limerick attending last week’s briefing by Chief Economist for financial services company Northern Trust Carl Tannenbaum and Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, who heads up Bank of Ireland’s Economic Research, also got to chance to participate in a survey around key issues and priorities.
And among the findings was that Limerick’s Opera Centre should be the top priority for the Limerick Twenty Thirty company - is a special purpose vehicle established last year to build out 1.4m sq ft of disused property in what will be the single biggest Irish commercial property development programme undertaken outside Dublin.
The M20 motorway was also high on the agenda when it came to deciding what the key infrastructure priority is for the region, with 65% opting for the Limerick to Cork motorway over the Northern Distributor road and the O’Connell Street upgrade, both 12%, with the M69 Limerick to Foynes road on 7%.
The audience was also asked what new route they would most like to see out of Shannon Airport, with 30% opting for Paris, 22% for Dubai and 21% for Amsterdam.
Not surprisingly, 64% felt that the top issue facing business in Ireland currently is the fall-out from Brexit, a long way ahead of the next issue of greatest concern, a possible skills shortage (14%). Political instability also received 12% of votes, with broadband connectivity on 6%.
Conversely, 42% of the attendance opted for ‘global political instability’ ahead of Brexit (39%) as the biggest global challenge facing business.
Said Limerick Chamber CEO James Ring, “The survey confirmed much of what we thought, not least that Brexit is the biggest single issue of concern to business in Ireland. Locally, it was no great surprise either to see that the M20 should be the key investment priority while it was interesting to see that the Opera Centre was considered the top priority for Limerick 2030.”