The visit of the Mayors of Manchester and Liverpool to Dublin demonstrates the benefits of our links with North West England

Ireland and the UK have important trading links and it is a significant market for so many of our exporters.

This week marks a significant milestone in that relationship as the Mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram, visit Dublin tomorrow and Tuesday. This unique visit aims to strengthen trade, tourism and community ties between these regions of the UK and Ireland.

“Andy and I want to forge deeper connections with Ireland,” said Liverpool City Mayor Steve Rotheram. “These conversations will focus on how we can work together to shape our post-pandemic recovery, reap the benefits of shared economic and cultural opportunities, and identify common priority areas such as climate action, sport, culture and innovation.”

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, added: “Working together and working together is vital as we enter a new phase in post-Brexit Britain and Ireland relations. We want the Northwest to be at the forefront. Ireland is one of the most important markets in Greater Manchester and is growing every year. A number of Irish companies have invested in our city area and tourism between Ireland and the North West is thriving.”

North West England is an important region. Irish officials have visited several locations in recent years, including a trade mission to Liverpool in December led by Secretary of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Business Regulation Robert Troy.

In addition, both mayors attended Enterprise Ireland’s post-Brexit Evolve UK event in February 2021, where they addressed an audience of Irish CEOs. However, this is the first mutual visit and it offers a unique opportunity for Irish companies and entrepreneurs to connect with these two leaders.

The importance of this visit is enhanced by the importance of decentralization in the UK and the decision-making and funding responsibilities of the two elected mayors in their regions. “As the directly elected Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, I will lead the combined authority and exercise the powers and functions delegated to the government as set out in our devolution agreement,” explains Mr Rotheram. “This includes a strategic investment fund of £30m a year, powers over public transport, skills, adult learning, energy, culture and more.

“My priority is to invest in areas that have a real impact on our communities, from transport to employment to culture and housing. Since my election, we have helped create more than 10,000 jobs and 7,000 apprenticeships for local people.”

During their visit to Dublin in the coming days, both Mayors will meet Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy and Irish companies are invited to attend two business sessions hosted by the Mayors and the UK Department for International Trade: Net Zero and Sustainability and The Digital Landscape.

These sessions will allow Irish companies to engage with the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region teams and learn more about existing and emerging opportunities in these areas and support for companies looking to establish a presence there. Enterprise Ireland’s Manchester team will also be present and will lead panel discussions on why companies are establishing a UK presence in the North West region.

The UK remains our largest export market, representing 29 per cent of Enterprise Ireland’s client companies’ global exports.

“Hundreds of Irish companies create thousands of quality jobs here because Greater Manchester provides the right environment for Irish businesses to thrive,” says Mayor Andy Burnham.

“We are the largest economy by GDP outside of London. We have a world-class culture to attract and retain talent, world-class institutions to develop the right skills, and world-class connectivity to fuel productivity and drive innovation. Irish companies tell us that the strength of our key sectors like digital and technology is what draws them here.”

The regions are home to a variety of sectors offering ample opportunities for ambitious Irish companies including manufacturing, construction, local government, aerospace, port infrastructure and offshore wind and renewable energy. Healthcare and life sciences are also vital, and Greater Manchester has been named the UK’s leading technology city outside of London.

Many Irish companies have had great success in the regions including ESB and John Sisk & Son who recently worked on one of the most notable projects, Circle Square in Manchester. Other notable companies include ESS Modular, Future Ticketing and Flextime Ltd.

Hopefully this visit to Dublin and the events over the coming days will encourage even more Irish companies to consider the significant opportunities in the North West of England to continue to grow and scale their business.

Laura Brocklebank is Senior Market Advisor at Enterprise Ireland

For more information on the business session events during the joint Mayors’ visit to Ireland, follow Enterprise Ireland UK on LinkedIn or contact The visit of the Mayors of Manchester and Liverpool to Dublin demonstrates the benefits of our links with North West England

Fry Electronics Team

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