On 4th December 2023 at the invitation of Ambassador of Ireland to Great Britain, Mr. Martin Fraser, an event was held in the Embassy of Ireland in London to showcase Ireland’s North West City Region as an innovative and attractive compelling destination to live, work, study, invest, explore and do business. Ireland’s North West City Region is a collaborative initiative between Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council. The event was also supported by North West Regional Development Group.

The objective of this event was to promote Ireland’s North West City Region in relation to trade and investment and to demonstrate the competitive advantages of doing business in the North West City Region. This was an opportunity to continue to develop a strong partnership between the North West City Region and the City of London and wider UK and to engage with the Irish diaspora in London, further expanding the region’s reach.

Cllr Martin Harley, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council was keen to showcase the city region to a London audience saying that “we are delighted to showcase our regional offer to important players in the London business and wider community today. The North West is ready for growth, and we have invested significant sums in infrastructure, networks and facilities to ensure we’re investor ready as a city region. The fact that so many high caliber businesses have now located in the region have invested here highlights the high quality of our investment proposition. On behalf of Donegal County Council, I would like to thank Ambassador Fraser for hosting our delegation at this wonderful event in the Embassy of Ireland.”

Cllr Patricia Logue, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council highlighted that place and proximity to talent has played a huge role in company success across the North West City Region, stating “We pride ourselves in our people and

the role our universities and colleges play in molding that talent. Combined with a superb quality of life, the North West City Region offers a work life balance that attracts and retains the best employees. With the Common Travel Area, an exceptional talent pool can be drawn across the region.  Living and working across two jurisdictions on a day-to-day basis. We have the right kind of infrastructure, logistics and proximity to London. This is a region of untapped potential. We are already providing important and valuable support to companies such as FinTrU who have grown and prospered in this region. We are ready to capitalise on our strengths to drive economic growth and foster innovation, for our mutual benefit. With our close proximity to London. And, and by sharing the only land border between the EU and UK. We are an ideal gateway location to both these markets”.

Chief Executive with Derry City and Strabane District Council John Kelpie said it was hugely important for the North West City Region to showcase its attributes and to engage directly with key stakeholders and influencers. “It is very important for us to strengthen our links with London and to do all we can to showcase out offerings to this audience. It’s an opportunity for us to develop strong international business links and build on the existing good work that is being done to develop our key industries, the emerging fintech cluster in our region and to collaborate on shared interests in innovation, education and climate action.”

Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John McLaughlin stated that “Ireland’s North West City Region is an excellent location for investors as it straddles two jurisdictions which provides businesses, multi-nationals and entrepreneurs the benefits of having access to both the EU and UK markets. The North West City region has established strong political, economic, and cultural linkages with London and this event further strengthens these connections. ”

The event included a lively panel discussion focused on Ireland’s North West City Region, a gateway to global growth moderated by Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award 2023 recipient Caroline McLaughlin, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley, UK. Panelists included Denis Curran, Head of Regions, Property and Enterprise Development at the IDA and Darragh McCarthy, CEO at FinTrU.

The event is also a fitting way to mark the 25-year anniversary of the Good Friday agreement and to share success stories of how the region has evolved since from an economic development perspective.  It also highlighted the benefit to businesses of locating in this region which can provide seamless market access to both the EU and UK.

Leading blue chip and fast-growing businesses, along with public and private sector representatives and key influencers based in and around London attended the event as well as stakeholders from across the region to provide a holistic overview of the benefits of locating in Ireland’s North West City Region.

The North West City region has a varied talent pool including a workforce which is not just highly educated but innovative, creative and loyal with Centres of Excellence in Big Data & Analytics, Health & Life Sciences, Advanced Manufacturing and the Blue Economy.

Ireland’s North West City region has a proven track record in hosting international companies such as PGIM, TCS, Seagate, DuPont, Allstate, Optum, Zeus, FinTrU, Abbot and Terex Corporation. These companies are already reaping the benefits and gaining competitive advantages provided by operating in the North West City Region. Talent is also driving investment decisions and the North West City Region provides a unique location for businesses seeking competitive advantage.

The event was also supported by stakeholders including the IDA Ireland, Invest NI, Enterprise Ireland, Atlantic Technological University, Ulster University, Donegal ETB and the North West Regional College along with businesses operating in the region. The event provided a valuable platform for exchanging ideas, sharing insights and building relationships on a cross-border basis.