Galway Chamber has voiced fears that Galway City is in serious danger of losing out to Cork, Limerick and Dublin in relation to vital infrastructure and investment projects.
Last week as the final piece of the Shannon tunnel was put in place beneath the river in Limerick, Galway Chamber President Peter Allen said that it is now imperative that infrastructure projects are put in place.
“Projects such as the Galway City Outer Bypass, the N18 and the N17 must be completed within the agreed time frames. Major investment projects such as those planned for the Galway Shopping Centre and the Ceannt Station site must be progressed through the planning process as soon as possible,” he said.
Michael Coyle, Chamber CEO, added that one only has to look at the highly innovative Shannon Tunnel Project which will remove over 40,000 vehicles from Limerick’s streetscape and at the Cork Port development project (Cork currently boasts the country’s tallest building ) to recognise that Galway now has to make its own statement of ambition regarding its future. Cork has also developed successful Park and Ride sites to complement its city centre shopping and business areas.
“In the current economic climate cities are competing for investment and Galway should send a very clear message to would-be investors that we welcome their projects, that we will ensure that planning applications are assessed speedily and fairly and that Galway is a good place to do business.
“We are fortunate that Galway is a city which has enormous development potential immediately adjacent to the city centre and to date we have had investors queuing up to undertake significant projects requiring major investment and creating significant numbers of jobs.”
But he added, “However, we cannot assume that these investors are not looking elsewhere, nor can we assume that they are prepared to wait forever for decisions from the relevant authorities. We must ensure that where possible these job creating projects are secured for Galway in the short term and that Galway maintains its attractiveness as a location to live, work and do business in the longer term.”