CORK County Council held a virtual event last Thursday to reveal its plans for the future of Cork Harbour. With a number of guest speakers, informative slides and an interesting Q&A session, it was, as described by the promotional material, ‘a unique insight into the immense growth opportunity of the Cork Harbour Economy.’
Shortening the area’s name to the ‘CHE’, the Council showed that, with the harbour region having a population of 71,910 and 29,171 jobs, it rivals cities like Galway (79,934 popn) and Waterford (94,192 popn) in size and potential.
The theme of the webinar was ‘Activating the Global Gateway’ and attendees heard that the harbour had been transformed from a fortified military harbour to a welcoming centre of research, tourism and commerce. Cork Harbour’s success was described as a microcosm of Ireland’s success, with a GDP per capita consistently above the State average.
The session was heavy on style and light on detail but the Council’s chief executive did describe the event as merely a ‘stock take’ of the situation, with plenty more detail to come in the forthcoming years. He spoke of the tourism, business and environmental potential of the harbour, and how it could become a wonderful place for future generations to work and live. The success of the harbour region will not just be the harbour’s success but will reverberate right throughout the county and beyond, the chief executive said. All boats will rise on the same tide.
It was a great upbeat presentation and one that brought a welcome boost to the audience of stakeholders and local business people, at a time when it was much needed.