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Limerick – vibrant; exciting; attractive and delivering change

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Orlaith Borthwick, Limerick Chamber Director of Policy, gives her thoughts on the Limerick recovery
I’m not sure how many of you saw The Big Picture last night – but it was great. It was Limerick as we now see ourselves. Vibrant. Exciting. Attractive.
The transformation of the former Dell facilities in Raheen and Castletroy captured a Limerick that is reinventing itself. Innovating. Delivering change. Securing a sustainable future. 
A hat’s off to our newly adopted Kerryman Niall O’Leary on nailing what are crucial issues – as Limerick, and indeed the country, seeks to continue to attract globally mobile investment and people. 
Niall O’Leary of Regeneron giving a tour of the Limerick facility

There’s no bones about it, it was a hugely positive program but in reality, there could have had a 2-hour special on the phenomenal transformation Limerick has undergone. Let’s re-cap… firstly, the program failed to capture the continued footprint, commitment and economic return that Dell still brings to Limerick. They have transformed their operations here and last year announced a new R&D Centre creating 100 additional jobs last as well as their global IoT solutions Centre being based here. In case any of us forget, they remain one of the largest employers in the region. They celebrate 25 years here this year. 

But that’s just the start of a really long list of stories to celebrate – let’s look at our incumbents…  J&J are investing significantly in an expansion of their VisionCare facility – I think anybody who has been in Limerick recently is familiar with their latest addition (the windmill!!). 
There’s a good big crane in the sky out by Groody with the development of Northern Trusts new facility – they will go to 1,000 staff by 2017 – a rapid growth considering they started with 19 staff in 2006! Analog celebrate 40 years in Limerick this year – they opened their hugely impressive new R&D building last year and of course there was the opening of the new Science and Engineering Building in UL named after them.
Let’s do a 2015 recap! Viagogo announced an additional 100 jobs last year. SFPC commenced a €50m capital investment program. Shannon Group announced a €21m investment in their commercial properties. ICON plc opened their new facility in the NTP. The facelift of Colbert Station commenced… CPL fuels announced a €20 investment with 200 jobs. Meco arrived. Indigenous companies like DeisgnPro expanded and start-ups like Teckro made Limerick their home.
The uber-cool UBER are now in situ. Regeneron’s growth as captured in last night’s program is amazing – now at a headcount of 350 and counting – they have had over 1,000 contractors on-site. It’s a world class facility, let’s make no apologies about it – and a real game changer for Limerick. But we’re not sitting on our laurels, the builders have already moved into Troy studios. 
Limerick is innovating in our methods to deliver and drive change. Limerick for IT and Limerick for Engineering are just two easy examples of the strength of collaboration & co-operation that’s happening here… 
Let’s keep this momentum going. We are a region to be reckoned with. And a very difficult location to overlook. Let’s make sure Government hear our message loud and clear – implement policies which facilitate our future growth – and let’s make sure the world knows – we may be small, but we’re mighty!  
(apologies in advance to everybody I’ve omitted – there are too many good news stories to capture in just one piece!)
And PS – if you’re from Limerick and didn’t see last night’s program – then check it out!!! 

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