The Liberties Business Forum and Dublin City Council yesterday held the Liberties Enterprise Day, a series of events hosted in partnership with Bank of Ireland and aimed at showcasing the very best that the area has to offer.
Attendees heard how the Liberties is Dublin’s emerging Innovation District – a mix of vibrant community life, great workplaces, diverse local businesses and leading-edge start-ups along with a lively social and cultural scene.
Significant public-sector investment is creating new parks and amenities, street renewal and ambitious major public space improvements in Francis Street and Newmarket. An example of this is Weaver Park, a new innovative park on Cork Street. Dublin City Council has a pipeline of €15m worth of further projects either completed or planned for the coming years.
Recent and upcoming investment in the area include:
· The development of the new national children’s hospital (NCH) and the expansion of St James’s Hospital. St James’s plans to develop a world-class national paediatric centre, co-located with an adult teaching hospital by 2021 and with a further phase of work planned to incorporate a maternity hospital.
· Plans for the Digital Hub, Ireland’s largest digital cluster, and the Guinness Enterprise Centre to double in size. Both enterprise clusters are key players in attracting indigenous and international enterprises to Dublin 8.
· The development of three major hotels, resulting in 1,000 new hotel rooms in the area.
· The recent opening of the Pearse Lyons Distillery on James’s Street, which followed the opening of Teeling Distillery on Newmarket in 2015, restoring The Liberties as a hub for traditional industries, craft brewing and distilling, after near-terminal decline in the 20th century.
· Diageo Ireland’s announcement last week of a major redevelopment of its historic St James's Gate campus to create a major new city centre quarter of residential, commercial and leisure buildings.
Speaking yesterday, Chairperson of Liberties Business Forum, Anthony Joyce said, "The Liberties is undergoing a period of exciting transformation. Major new investments across healthcare, digital enterprise, tourism and the physical environment are underway. The area’s business sector is vibrant and diverse, with independent retailers, new cafes and eateries, design studios, creative enterprises and start-ups and a growing craft food and drink sector all adding to the vitality of its historic commercial streets."
He added, "From our perspective, we have all the attractions needed to position The Liberties as Dublin’s Innovation District and as an integral part of commercial life in the city."
Other local business leaders who addressed yesterday's event included CEO of St James’s Hospital - Lorcan Birthistle, Manager of the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC) - Eamonn Sayers, Chief Executive of the Children’s Hospital Group - Eilísh Hardiman, CEO of SICCDA - Michael Conlon, Managing Director of DHR Communications - Catherine Heaney, Jack Teeling of Teeling Whiskey and Lindsay Nguyen of SwiftComply.