British Ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnston pictured above visited Limerick to strengthen business and education partnerships for Limerick’s future ambitious growth plans.
British Ambassador to Ireland Paul Johnston visits Limerick
The British Ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnston paid a virtual visit to Limerick on June 1st and 2nd to strengthen partnerships across civic, business, education and research in the Limerick Region.
Throughout the two-day visit, the Ambassador got an insight into Limerick’s ambitious growth plans and explore opportunities to further develop UK-Limerick links through meetings with the Lord Mayor of Limerick, Limerick City & County Council CEO, local TDs, and Presidents of UL and LIT. The Ambassador also held a seminar on UK-Ireland relations with students from the Department of Politics & Public Administration at UL. The two-day visit ends with a meeting with Limerick Sings Festival.
This is the Ambassador’s second virtual regional visit in Ireland, since taking up his post in September 2020, underlining the importance of the Limerick region to the UK-IE relationship.
Speaking about the visit, the British Ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnston said, “Limerick is a dynamic and open city, with exciting potential for cooperation, especially in the areas of university, city-to-city and business links. I look forward to visiting in person once Covid restrictions allow.
“This visit reaffirms the Embassy’s commitment to continue working with Limerick and sharing ideas on urban renewal, sustainability, economic and regional development. I enjoyed getting to know more about Limerick’s post-Covid-recovery ambitions and the issues shaping the upcoming Development Plan for 2022-2028.
“It is clear that there are huge opportunities to continue working with Limerick to increase the prosperity of our regions and not just our capital cities. That’s the spirit of the British government’s levelling up agenda and of the partnership with Ireland that we want to develop.”
The Ambassador’s visit takes forward UK-Limerick economic ties. It builds on the ‘Joining the Dots’ event held in Limerick in February 2020, which brought 40 UK innovation-led firms and organisations together with counterparts and 25 companies from the mid-West of Ireland. This relationship was further built upon through a virtual gathering of UK and Irish City Councils last March, which explored and shared best practice on post-Covid regional innovation and sustainability agendas. Limerick is at the centre of smart manufacturing with many opportunities for local companies to grow in the UK market. Following the Ambassador’s visit, the embassy team will work with local stakeholders to explore the potential in this field.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Collins said, “I’m very happy that the British Ambassador and Embassy in taking time to organise and attend this event. We have built up very good relationships over the past number of years, in the growth areas of smart manufacturing and leading-edge technologies, and we can learn from shared experiences across a range of other areas in society.
“It is important that we continue to develop and promote the links we have with the UK. It is a very key trading partner for many businesses here in the Limerick area and is vital to increase growth projections.
“There are many areas of potential growth between the two regions, and it is important that we are open to collaboration in order to achieve this.”
About Joining the Dots
“Joining the Dots” is a British Embassy led programme that promotes economic links and opportunities between regions of the UK and Ireland. The initial report was launched in Ireland in November 2018 and identified untapped opportunities to connect businesses, researchers, and academia to promote UK–Irish economic growth. Since its launch, the programme has built cooperation between the regions by hosting a number of events in Cork and Limerick and taking partners to the UK Midlands to build on connections there. A virtual event between the Leeds-Bradford and Galway-Mayo regions in December last also saw influential stakeholders gather for discussions and make connections on Health, Research and Regional Economic Development.
In 2020, the Embassy held an event at sites across Limerick city, in partnership with Limerick City and County Council, the SFI CONFIRM centre, University of Limerick and the Connected Places Catapult, aimed at promoting economic links and opportunities between regions in Ireland and the UK outside of the respective capital cities.
In 2019 the Embassy hosted a delegation, including representatives from Limerick, in Coventry & Birmingham to promote stronger business partnerships and collaboration between the Mid-West and South-West of Ireland and the UK Midlands. The delegation included representatives from Limerick City and County Council, Abbey Moulding Contractors, the SFI CONFIRM Centre, Innovate Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology, Linc Engineering Network, STL Logistics, JFC Manufacturing, and the University of Limerick.
For more on Joining the Dots go HERE
For more Ambassador stories go HERE
Ambassador @PJohnstonFCDO has begun his virtual 2 day visit to #Limerick. He'll meet @LimerickCouncil CEO, President's of @UL & @LimerickIT, Lord Mayor @cllrmcollins & others, to discuss Limerick’s ambitious growth plans & opportunities to further develop🇬🇧🇮🇪 links #JtDUKIrl pic.twitter.com/FGHwVzAwDq
— British Embassy (@BritEmbDublin) June 1, 2021