Monday 18 November 2019

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200 year milestone for Cork Chamber

Thursday, 7th November, 2019 8:55am

A new chapter will begin tomorrow for the Cork Chamber of Commerce as it marks its 200 year anniversary.

Established on 8 November 1819, the chamber now represents more than 1,200 companies with 10,000 employees across the Cork region.

Speaking to the Cork Independent, Chamber President Paula Cogan said that the chamber is doing now is exactly what is was doing 200 years ago.

“The British government was putting additional taxes on any products coming from Cork, and the people felt aggrieved at the time, so they set up a group to lobby on behalf of Cork’s businesses, something that continues to this day,” Ms Cogan explained.

She added: “If you look at things like the airport, the development of the Port of Cork, the Jack Lynch Tunnel, or the South Ring Road, the chamber was actually lobbying 20 years beforehand to have all of these things happen.”

Looking forward, Ms Cogan said that Cork’s recognition in Project Ireland 2040 as the largest growing city and region in the country has given the chamber “huge ambition for the city”.

“We’re very fortunate as a city to have 50,000 students in third level education at the moment between our university and our third level institutes, so this means there’s a pipeline of talent coming through. That gives employers huge comfort,” she said.

Ms Cogan also pointed out the benefit of large multi-national companies like Pfizer taking up permanent residency in Cork and the important role they play in attracting others to come.

She said: “I always think we should use the tagline ‘pleasantly surprised’ when we talk about Cork. Lots of companies who are initially looking to Cork as a place to set up, really don’t have a huge concept of what the city and the region can offer.

“But then, once they come and realise that we have so many large multi-nationals thriving here, it gives them huge reassurance that Cork is a really good place to do business and to develop.”

Ms Cogan said she was delighted to see many of the people who left Cork during the recession return to the city with their knowledge and experience in tow.

She also highlighted the importance of continuing to attract talent to Cork as the city expands and grows.

“One piece of the puzzle that really needs to come into play is transport and infrastructure, in order to grow effectively as a sustainable city. Attracting talent, accommodation, transport and infrastructure continue to be the key areas in which we’re lobbying on behalf of our members,” she said.

Bicentennial celebrations got off to an early start this year when the Cork Chamber 1819 Fund, a six month community funding drive set up to raise €200,000, was launched back in January.

A history of the Cork Chamber of Commerce will be made available from this evening to mark its 200 year anniversary.

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