The Mayor of Galway city, Padraig Conneely, and city manager Brendan McGrath travelled to the south of France last week to officially accept, on behalf of the city, the overall Micro Cities Award for European Cities and Regions of the future.
It was announced recently that following a study of the most promising investment locations in Europe, fDi, a magazine published by the Financial Times, ranked Galway as the ‘Best Overall Micro City in Europe’. Galway was also ranked second place in the ‘Best Micro City for economic potential’ and third place in the ‘Best Micro City in business friendliness’ categories. Galway was the only micro city to be listed in the Top 25 overall European Cities of the Future. The awards ceremony took place at 12 noon on Wednesday, March 12, in the Hotel Majestic Barriere in Cannes.
Speaking ahead of the visit at this month’s meeting of Galway City Council, Mayor Conneely said that he would be “delighted to accept the award”. He added that making applications for such awards is important for the city as it is a “significant endorsement of Galway city and its potential to place Galway as a place for investment and economic development”. He added the award will boost the city’s applications with the state agencies to market the city internationally as a city of economic potential.
Following the awards ceremony, Mr McGrath described it as a “significant endorsement of Galway city and its potential to lead the west of Ireland as a place of investment and economic development”. The city manager added: “The city council would have to be seen to lead Galway city as a major city to attract foreign direct investment and that the staff of the council would work with the IDA to support investment-led visits to Galway city and the west of Ireland region. If we don’t take on this role, and ensure that Galway city gets its share of FDI visits and market the city internationally as a city of economic potential, then we can’t expect support from other agencies of the state.”
Adding to this Liam Hanrahan, economic development unit at Galway City Council, explained that the survey had examined data that was collected from 468 locations, both cities and regions, in five categories - economic potential, human capital and lifestyle, cost effectiveness, infrastructure and business friendliness. Galway City Council went on to make a short submission which reflected on the ability of the city council, other agencies and the business community in general to work together to promote Galway. This submission included work done in meeting with IDA company CEOs on a regular basis, the annual Meet West conferences, the changing role of the local authorities in being more central to enterprise development etc.
Mr Hanrahan added: “The data from the survey and the awards will be used to promote and market the city - both by the city council and by the IDA. The data will also be a valuable source of information for the development of a new Galway Economic Strategy & Action Plan to be developed in 2014 and will be a support for Galway as it strives to become the European Capital of Culture 2020."