Galway Chamber launched a programme to attract inward investment from the UK and further afield with two events in London last week.
The Irish Embassy hosted an evening function for a delegation from Galway and invited guests from the business community in London at which Galway Chamber’s new brochure ‘Why Galway?’ was launched.
The following day the action moved closer to the heart of the financial district with a reception at the offices of Keltie LLP at 1 London Bridge, overlooking the Thames and The City of London.
The aim of the programme is to build on the work done by IDA Ireland – which attracts investment to Ireland – and encourage businesses to come to Galway rather than other locations in the country.
“We are acutely aware of the importance of foreign direct investment to Galway.” says Conor O’Dowd the outgoing President of Galway Chamber.
“While we have had significant success in attracting multinational companies, we are committed to ensuring that Galway remains a wonderful location to run a business, to work and to live. Our mission here is to deliver this message to key influencers in London and is the first of several such engagements over the coming years”.
Ambassador Dan Mulhall said that smaller locations such as Galway need to make sure they tell their stories well in order to attract investment away from Dublin, Cork, etc.
“Areas around Ireland that have something special to offer, like Galway, can’t assume that everyone looking to invest in the country knows what makes them special,” he said.
“Galway has a huge amount to offer in terms of its location the quality of life and the people, its academic institutions as well as a critical mass of industries. This story needs to be told to the right audience”
The Galway Technology Centre and the Portershed at the Galway City Innovation District organised the trip with Galway Chamber and both were identified as key elements for the success of this strategy.
“Overseas companies want to be able to grow quickly once they decide on a location and having the ability to make a ‘fast landing’ is key to this”’ says Michelle Conaghan, Head of Emerging Business UK and Europe at IDA Ireland based in London.
“Galway is fortunate to have facilities such as the Galway Technology Centre and Portershed to ensure that this can happen.”
Keltie is well placed to judge how well Galway performs as a business destination. The London-based company specialises in intellectual property law and took the decision to set up an Irish operation a week after the UK voted to leave the EU.
‘We took the decision to open in Galway because it fits with the technologies of the clients we love to work with, it’s full of creative people and above all else it has a massive amount of energy’” says Sean Cummings, a partner in Keltie LLP’s London office and now head of its Irish operation.
“That energy creates change, innovation and a start-up culture, all of which give rise to business opportunities for a company like ours.”
The Chamber plans to build on this launch with a digital version of its Why Galway? brochure which will contain more case studies, video and a lot of the hard data needed by prospective investors to help make business decisions.
It’s envisaged that this message will be brought to key centres of investment potential in Europe and North America in the next 12 months.
Maurice O’Gorman, the incoming President of Galway Chamber, says: “We realise that we need to do this for ourselves. We cannot always rely on the national government to promote Galway.”
“We need to get the Chamber, local government, local development agencies, real estate and the educational institutions working together to promote Galway. This has been a great start and we need to do a lot more of this to ensure Galway continues to grow.”
Galway Chamber also launched a brief video to complement the brochure. See the video here.