Monday, April 15, 2013

City/County Economic Development Initial Analysis Document

I am printing here the Initial Economic Development Analysis Document prepared for the Implementation Committee and which was used to brief the Economic Consultants who have been employed (at a cost of about €50K as far as I can guess but perhaps more - or less *ha!*). This money is being provided by the Department of the Environment according to City Manager, Michael Walsh.

I print it because (a) it is an interesting document and it is worth a read (b) I hope to meet with the Economic Consultants at the end of this week and would welcome any input and (c) because in my view it illustrates beautifully the impracticality that the entire Amalgamation process will cause - covering as it does, the Economic development of everything from the city and environs, to the southern suburbs of Carrick on Suir, Dungarvan & environs, Tramore, Ardmore, Cappoquin, Tallow, An Rinn etc. and then on to Aglish, Heilbhic, Piltown(?) Touraneena, Villierstown and more......all deserving. All competing on different levels. All wanting their fair share as they see it. See point 2 in the body of the document for full details. It is, in my humble opinion, going to divert hugely from the focus that we need to be placing on the development of the city (and bear in mind that Cork, Dublin and Galway will be doing just that without any County areas competing for focus). The dominance of the city (or new Metropolitan Area as it is to be designated) will also inevitably take focus away from the County and its' needs. What you might call a LOSE/LOSE situation.

But for what it's worth, here it is. Please send your feed back either here as comments or email me at

Many thanks,


Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 1

This document has been prepared by the Waterford Re‐Organisation Implementation Group which
has a general mandate to oversee planning, preparatory work and initial implementation of the
reorganisation process of Waterford City and County Councils. The Terms of Reference include the
‘Identification of measures to maximise the capacity of local government to contribute to the
economic development of Waterford and its wider hinterland/region and, in particular, to enhance
the role of Waterford City as a generator of growth and a strong and dynamic focus for development
of the wider region’.
As a first step in this process, the current issues facing Waterford and the South East region have
been identified including sustained high levels of unemployment, low educational attainment and
Waterford’s failure to fully realise its potential as a gateway city under the National Spatial Strategy.
This analysis document outlines a process for undertaking the development of an Economic Plan to
address these issues and to help Waterford fulfil its role as a Gateway City. The document also
includes a number of high level interventions which the Implementation Group has identified which
will assist Waterford to become a driver of economic development for the City and the wider South
East Region.

The Forfás report ‘Our Cities: Drivers of National Competitiveness1’ highlights the important role that
cities play within their regions and that competitive cities drive competitive regions, by promoting
growth and employment. Cities act as economic engines for their regions providing a critical mass of
public and private institutions. Cities boost regions by creating employment for residents and they
provide national and international connectivity through the concentration of infrastructure. Cities
also facilitate regions by enhancing their international profile which is particularly important when
attracting foreign direct investment. The key role of cities within their region is further highlighted
in European Commission2 ‘State of European Cities Report’ which states that ‘urban areas play a key
role in driving the development of their hinterlands, and successful regions have a dynamic and
vibrant city at their core’.
Waterford’s failure to fulfil its role as a gateway city is evident across a number of variables including
unemployment, Gross Value Added and the Gateway Development Index. These headline statistics
are outlined in the following paragraphs and support the need for additional targeted resources to
address the issues currently facing Waterford.
The most recent figures for unemployment (Q3 2012) published by the CSO in the Quarterly National
Household Survey3 (QNHS) highlight that while at national level the unemployment figure was
15.0%, the figure for the South East was 19.4%. More localised data for Waterford City and County
from the Live Register4 show that the figures have stabilised at high levels of 14,176 in January 2013
which shows little change from the January 2012 figure of 14,516. The unemployment figures from
Census 2011 for Waterford City (25.08%) and County (19.14%) further reinforce this point when
compared to the figure for the State of 19.03%.
Monitoring of announcements in the media of job losses in Waterford further emphasise the
downward spiral of unemployment in the City and County. The most high profile of these recent
announcements was the loss of 575 jobs and the closure of TalkTalk in September 2011. Other
1 Forfás (2009) Our Cities: Drivers of National Competitiveness
2 European Commission (2007) State of European Cities Report
3 CSO (2012) Quarterly National Household Survey Q3 2012
4 CS0 (2013) Live Register January 2013
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 2
headline job losses include the closure of Waterford Crystal with significant job losses and the
shedding of 315 jobs in TEVA. Added to this are smaller losses in both IDA Ireland supported and
indigenous companies which have a significant negative impact on the local and wider regional
economy. Waterford’s importance as a regional level employer is highlighted in the Census 2011
figures which show that almost half (46.8%) of those working in Waterford are commuting into
Waterford for work5.
The most recently available report on the Gateway Development Index (GDI)6 published in February
2009 shows that the overall GDI Score for Waterford Gateway of 3.7 was the lowest of the
established cities (Cork 5.8, Galway 5.6, Dublin 5.4 and Limerick 4.7). The report references the low
presence of service occupations amongst residents as a long recognised weakness of Waterford’s
economic base. Waterford also scored low on a number of other important indicators including
adult education levels, return of Waterford graduates to work there and the level of third level R&D
earnings in the Gateway. Forfás7 also noted the challenge facing the region regarding skills
development as a result of the lower levels of educational attainment to third level.
Gross Value Added (GVA) is similar to GDP and measures the value of goods and services which are
produced within a region. The most recent ‘Indices of GVA per person8’ available from the CSO for
2009 show that each of the regions that are prospering have a strong urban centre or Gateway
driving the economy e.g. South West 122.7, Mid West 84.7 and West 72.9. In contrast the Indices
of GVA per person for the South East is 68.3 which highlights that Waterford is currently under
performing as a Gateway City compared to other gateway cities.


The Forfás report on the Regional Competitiveness Agenda reports that ‘the lack of genuine buy‐in
to Waterford as the regional gateway’ and ‘competitive dynamics within the region has limited the
realisation of the potential of the city as a driver for regional development’.
Given the importance of Waterford City as the key driver of economic growth within the wider
region, it is the belief of the Waterford Re‐Organisation Implementation Group that it is imperative
that IDA Ireland demonstrate their commitment to the South East region by relocating a Regional
Director to Waterford City. The Group has also identified a number of high level interventions
which would be of significance in putting Waterford and the South East on a more equal footing with
other cities and regions and which will contribute significantly towards the successful
implementation of the Economic Plan outlined in this document.

1. Waterford and Carlow Institutes of Technology be designated as a Technological University and
to receive the status and budget to fully deliver on their role as Technological University for the
South East.
2. The assistance of NAMA to facilitate the development of the Michael Street area in Waterford
3. A subvention over a period of three years to be provided to the Waterford City & County
Council to facilitate the writing off of existing debt and to make provision for expenditure on
prioritised capital projects.
4. Funding to be provided to Waterford Airport for necessary development works.
5. The world class Mount Congreve gardens to be opened and operated as a tourist attraction.
5 CSO (2012) Census 2011 Profile 10: Door to Door Commuting in Ireland
6 Trutz Haase & Fitzpatrick Associates (2009) Preparation of a Gateway Development Index: Report on Stages 1,2
7 Forfás (2010) Regional Competitiveness Agenda: Volume II – Realising the Potential South East
8 CSO (2012) County Incomes and Regional GDP 2009
9 Forfás (2010) Regional Competitiveness Agenda: Volume II – Realising the Potential South East
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 3
6. The transfer of the OPW site in Dungarvan to the local authority at nominal terms to facilitate
the development of the Mercyhurst Campus in Dungarvan.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 4

This document outlines a proposal on the approach to be undertaken in developing an Economic
Plan for Waterford City and County to help tackle the issues identified in the Appendix and to help
Waterford fulfil the role of Gateway City and driver of economic development within the South East
region. The Appendix highlights the issues currently facing Waterford and the South East region in
terms of unemployment, on‐going job losses, low educational attainment and the profile of those at

1. Economic Development will be a key priority of the merged Waterford City and County Council.
This represents a continuation and expansion of the economic objectives of both local
authorities. It builds on the considerable progress that has been made to create a business
environment which will attract investment and help to create jobs in Waterford.
Waterford has the physical attributes and agency support to make it an excellent business
• Waterford is highly accessible and is a major transportation hub with a national port and
regional airport. Waterford is situated on a number of critical and linking corridors which
provide access to the country’s other ports, airports and major cities. Key centres within
Waterford City and County are within one hour of Cork Airport, Ireland’s second busiest
airport with routes to over 60 destinations and 1hour 40 minutes to Dublin Airport.
• Investment in road and rail infrastructure has reduced travel times to key centres such as
Dublin and Cork. Reduced travel times mean that there is a population of 500,000 within one
hour of Waterford. Waterford City and County Council will continue to work with Waterford
Airport to improve access to the region.
• There has been significant investment in the water supply and waste water treatment systems
in the region, providing significant capacity if required by industry.
• There is a mix of property solutions available to businesses from strategic, serviced sites for
manufacturing, to high‐spec office space for internationally traded business services and
community enterprise centres providing more local solutions.
• Waterford and Dungarvan are connected to the Metropolitan Area Network providing resilient
dark fibre for commercial and education sectors at wholesale prices.
• Waterford Institute of Technology and Carlow Institute of Technology are merging as the first
step in establishing a Technological University for the South East. These combined Institutes
of Technology provide the region with a thriving and ambitious third/ fourth level institution
which attracts considerable research funding and offers courses at Doctorate level.
• Waterford is endowed with a wealth of built and natural heritage that create a unique mix of
visitor attractions and generate opportunities for tourism to increase its role as an economic
• The local communities, including Chambers of Commerce and local enterprise groups, are
mobilised, and action oriented, ready to welcome and support investment and job creation.
• The local authorities have prioritised economic development and have taken a ‘can‐do’
approach to supporting business. Both local authorities have established Economic
Development Units to stimulate economic activity and provide investors with a single,
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 5
simplified response from all local authority services. These units will be merged to provide a
seamless service to enhance economic development in Waterford.

1. A unified Economic Development Unit (EDU)/ Business Support Unit will be established within
the merged local authority for Waterford. This unit will be charged with coordinating an
Economic Plan. The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) will form part of this unit to provide supports
to small and micro businesses. In addition, the Economic Development Unit will provide a single
point of contact to all commercial developments in Waterford (See Page 12 for composition of

2. The Economic Development Unit will take a multi‐facetted approach to economic development
that encompasses urban and rural development and which recognises Waterford City as a
Gateway and the economic driver for the County and the wider Region in line with the National
Spatial Strategy and the Regional Planning Guidelines.
The approach to economic development of Waterford as follows:
The Economic Development Approach in Waterford
Level 1 Waterford Gateway
Level 2 County Town & Larger Towns – Dungarvan & Tramore
Level 3 Ardmore, Ballymacarbry, Cappoquin, Dunhill, Dunmore East,
Kilmacthomas, Kilmeaden, Lismore, Passage East, Portlaw, Stradbally,
Tallow, Sean Phobal / An Rinn
Level 4 Aglish, Annestown, Baile na nGall, Ballinroad, Ballyaneen, Ballyduff
Lower (East), Ballyduff Upper (West), Bawnfune, Bunmahon /
Knockmahon, Cheekpoint, Clashmore, Clonmel Environs, Clonea –
Power, Crooke, Fenor, Heilbhic, Kill, Knockanore, Lemybrien, Maoil na
Choirne, Piltown, Rathgormuck, Touraneena, Villierstown

3. The table above represents different approaches that will be adopted that meets the needs of
the Gateway, the larger towns, the smaller towns and villages and the rural areas. It mirrors the
settlement strategy of the City and County, and is consistent with the Planning Guidelines for the
South East Region. However, it is amended to reflect the existence of enterprise centres,
strategic sites, or development opportunity sites in each of the areas. This approach will apply
to a range of economic activities, including retail and commercial development and foreign
direct investment.

4. This discussion document presents an overview of the key components of an Economic Plan for
Waterford. It addresses the following:
• Implementation at local level of relevant national, regional and local strategies including but
not limited to the National Spatial Strategy, The National Recovery Plan, Action Plan for Jobs
2012, Harvest 2020, South East Regional Planning Guidelines, South East Region Employment
Action Plan, Waterford PLUTS 2004‐2020 and the Local Government Enterprise and Jobs
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 6
• Preparation of the Economic Plan informed by the newly established Economic Strategic Policy
• Attracting foreign direct investment.
• Fostering indigenous enterprise.
• Building tourism potential.
• Investing in access infrastructure with Waterford Airport as a priority.
• Supporting the knowledge economy.
• Stimulating commercial investment including in the retail sector.
• Supporting community and social enterprise; and
• Tackling the issue of long term unemployment and under employment.

5. It is important for Waterford to attract investments that will create employment for the full
spectrum of skills that are available in the region. Thus, the Economic Plan will aim to harness a
range of sectors and functions, including: commercial services, ICT, pharmaceutical and bio
sciences, agriculture and food, fisheries, tourism, retail, the green economy, and international,
national and local business services, crafts and trades services. Specific sectoral strategies will
be prepared for each of these sectors as part of the preparation of the Economic Plan as set out

6. A South East Economic Forum is to be established which will have a key role in identifying the
skills and training required to facilitate current and emerging industry needs to drive economic
growth across the region. As a member of this Economic Forum, the Director of Economic
Development for Waterford City & County Council will assist the Forum in identifying these
needs and implementing the necessary training.

7. This is a discussion document, representing the first step in the preparation of a comprehensive
Economic Plan for Waterford. The following approach will be applied to the completion of the
Economic Plan:

• A succinct consultation process with agencies, key employers, representative organisations
and local enterprise groups.
• A comprehensive analysis of relevant statistics relating to the labour market and
unemployment rates will be undertaken (See Appendix ‘Levels of Unemployment and Job
Losses in Waterford and the South East’).
• The definition of a vision for Waterford, that sets a bearing point for Waterford as a globally
competitive location, the development of knowledge economy, integration with social policy.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 7
• Establishment of development principles and objectives, that builds on the strengths of
Waterford, and support the well‐being of citizens.
• Agree actions and key performance indicators with implementation partners such as IDA
Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Solas, Waterford Institute of Technology, The Vocational
Educational Committee, local enterprise communities, and representative organisations.
• The Economic Plan will be adopted by both Waterford City Council and Waterford County
Council in advance of the final merger, and will transfer to the new merged local authority for

8. Commencing in February, the Economic Plan will be completed within 6 months and ready for
adoption by July, 2013. In the interim, this document will provide a framework for the
economic development priorities and work programme of the Economic Development Unit.

9. The Economic Plan will inform all plans, policies and strategies prepared and adopted by local
government in Waterford, ensuring that there is strategic alignment between the economic
objectives, and those of the spatial plans, culture plans etc in the area.

10. The economic priorities will be continuously informed by the private sector. To achieve this,
Economic Development Unit will host an economic forum, made up of the CEOs of the key
employers (clients of IDA, Enterprise Ireland or businesses employing more than 100,
representative organisations, and local enterprise groups).

11. The following will be the key components of Waterford’s strategy to attract Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI). This strategy will be implemented in association with IDA Ireland. As set on
the following pages, Waterford offers a range of offices and sites that are suitable for
manufacturing, the pharmaceutical sectors, food production, research and development and
internationally and nationally traded business services.
• Attract new investments by providing a spectrum of property solutions including advanced
property solutions, skills and other supports required by international investors.
• Prepare and implement a promotional campaign in association with IDA Ireland. This will
build on the Waterford Connect and Invest promotional tool that was developed by IDA
Ireland for Waterford Gateway.
• Expand the range of functions being conducted by clients of IDA Ireland already present in
• Regenerate the IDA Business Park.

12. Waterford City & County Council will investigate the potential to further develop established
linkages with Rochester, New York for the economic advantage of Waterford.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 8

13. The property mix is under both public and private ownership is set out below for the Gateway
and the investment approach to towns and villages outlined on page 4.

Publicly Owned
• The Belview Zone is a Strategic Investment Site which Incorporates 265hectares, of which 55
hectares is under the ownership of IDA Ireland. Glanbia has secured an option to develop a
considerable dairy processing plant at this site. This site is fully serviced with significant water
facilities capable of supplying 3,300 cubic metres of water per day. The site also has access to
high capacity fibre optic network and can provide 270,000sq ft of racked storage including Irish
Medicines Board licensed pharmaceutical high bay warehousing. Belview is suitable for food,
pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.
• Knockhouse is a fully serviced Strategic Investment Site, adjacent to the IDA Industrial Park.
IDA Ireland owns an 18.2ha greenfield site at Knockhouse. Knockhouse is suitable
pharmaceuticals and manufacturing.
• Waterford Knowledge Campus is a 163ha site that is primarily under the ownership of IDA
Ireland and Waterford Institute of Technology. The site currently hosts the Arc Labs
innovation centre and data centre, along with advanced office space. It also holds a sports
arena which can accommodate conferences of up‐to 2,000 people. IDA Ireland has submitted
a planning application to develop a Business Technology Building at Waterford Knowledge
Campus. Waterford Knowledge Campus is suitable for ICT, business services, research and
innovation and light manufacturing.
• IDA Industrial Park on the Cork Road covers 129.5hectares and accommodates over 40
enterprises with approximately 5,500 employees. There are a number of small infill sites and
some vacant units owned by IDA clients which could be developed.
Privately Owned Sites
• Former Waterford Crystal Site is a 14.5hecatre site with over 50,000 sqm of buildings. The
site is suitable for a mix of commercial services and manufacturing.
• City Centre Offices including Maritana Gate, which caters for offices from 350sq ft to 12,000sq
ft. These are suitable for local, national and internationally traded business services and are
connected to the Metropolitan Area Network.
• Cleaboy Business Park: has units ranging in size from 3,000sq ft to 12,000sq ft.
• Kilmeaden Fields is a 26ha serviced site with a tradition of manufacturing. The site is under
the ownership of Glanbia Plc.
• Waterford Airport: The Waterford Business Park offers a number of premises adjacent to the
airport. In addition, there are lands zoned adjacent to the airport to attract investment by
businesses associated with the aviation industry.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 9

Level 2 – Large Towns
• Dungarvan: There is a total of 97 hectares zoned industrial site in Dungarvan, of which
20hectares is under the ownership of IDA Ireland. A range of profile employers are located in
Dungarvan including GSK, Eurofins, Microbush and Glanbia.
• Tramore: Ballinattin is a 120 hectare site zoned for a mix of uses including industrial use. In
addition, there is a 30ha site at Pickardstown, Tramore zoned for commercial uses.

Level 3 – Towns & Villages
14. A range of sites are available in Tallow, Cappoquin and Kilmeaden. These are under the
ownership of IDA Ireland or the private sector. The Economic Development Unit will support
the promotion of these sites for light manufacturing.

15. The Economic Development Unit will support the expansion of the indigenous sector. The newly
established Local Enterprise Office, which will form part of the Economic Development Unit, will
work in partnership with Enterprise Ireland to foster indigenous enterprises, particularly in the
value added sectors, with potential for export and job creation.

16. A key component of this strategy will be to strengthen the network of enterprise centres in
Waterford including, Arc Labs Innovation Centre at WIT, and the Enterprise Centres at Waterford
City ‐ Community Enterprise Centre and the Kite Crafts Centre ‐ Dunhill, Dungarvan, Cappoquin,
Lismore and Tallow, with plans for the development of a crafts centre and enterprise centre at

17. In addition, the Economic Development Unit will ensure that there are property solutions for
smaller indigenous enterprises. Specifically, Waterford City & County Council will support the
development of enterprise parks at Cleaboy (Waterford), Riverstown (Tramore), Dungarvan,
Cappoquin, Lismore, Tallow.

18. Waterford City & County Council recognises the benefits of clustering. To this end, Waterford
City & County Council will develop specific sectoral hubs or centres of excellence throughout
Waterford with priority given to a food hub, creative industries, including television production
hub, ICT / telecoms, ecommerce, crafts. These will be located in areas best suited to the needs
of the cluster, with due regard to the economic approach outlined.

19. Waterford hosts a wealth of built and natural heritage and excellent access, and offers domestic
and overseas tourists a range of complementary urban and rural activities that are rich in
heritage, outdoor pursuits, ecology, flora and fauna etc. In addition, Waterford offers a number
of top‐class award winning restaurants. The Economic Development Unit will work with Fáilte
Ireland, the private sector and community representative organisations to develop and promote
the tourism product of Waterford. Over recent years both Waterford City and County Councils
invested significantly in tourism development.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 10
Key projects include:
• Reinstatement of the new House of Waterford Crystal Experience
• Opening of the Bishop’s Palace Museum and Medieval Museum
• Development of the Viking Triangle and appointment of new CEO
• Expansion of the network of walking and cycling routes.

20. In addition, a range of festivals and events have been successfully been developed such as: the
Tall Ships Race, Winterval, Waterford Spraoi Festival, the Waterford Harvest Festival, The Sean
Kelly Tour of Waterford, the John Treacy Classic, Waterford Festival of Food, 1848 Tricolour
Festival, Immrama Travel Writers Festival, Story Telling South East and St Patrick’s Festivals to
name a few. The Economic Development Unit will continue to support the development of new
festivals and events which have the capacity to attract visitors.

21. The Economic Development Unit will take a four pronged approach to tourism development
encompassing Product Development, Attracting Private Sector Investment, Supporting
Community Projects, Tourism Promotion:
Product Development

22. The Economic Development Unit will focus on the development of significant tourist attractions
in the Gateway and remainder of the County. Waterford City & County Council will support the
strategy being implemented by Fáilte Ireland, with additional projects that complement this
strategy and build on the strengths of the area. Priority will be given to:
• Development of the Heritage / Viking Triangle of Waterford City.
• Supporting the on‐going development of House of Waterford Crystal.
• Development of the world class gardens and estate at Mount Congreve.
• Harnessing the potential of the UNESCO Supported Geo Park.
• Support the expansion of Lismore Heritage Centre and tourist attractions in Lismore as a
Heritage Town.
• The development of a Mountain Bike Park on Coillte Lands.
• Development of Cycling and Walking Routes in the coastal areas, Comeragh Mountains, the
Knockmealdowns, and coastal areas. In particular the development of the railway walk that
connects Dungarvan with Waterford City.
• Supporting coastal tourism by developing the network of beaches, harbours and piers at
Waterford Estuary, Waterford City, Passage East, Cheekpoint, Dunmore East, Tramore, the
Copper Coast, Clonea, Dungarvan, Helvic and Ardmore.
• Development of the heritage trail, with a wealth of history from the Vikings to the Normans
and the Cromwell.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 11

Attract Private Sector Investment:
23. The Economic Development Unit will support the investment by the private sector in tourist
accommodation and tourist activities / products. In particular, the Unit will support investment
by the private sector in the full range of tourist accommodation, including caravan and camping
parks, hostels, guesthouses and B&Bs and hotels.

Support Community Development of Tourist Attractions and Promotion
24. Local communities and voluntary groups play a key role in developing tourist attractions
throughout Waterford including Waterford Civic Trust, Suir Valley Railway, Lismore Heritage, etc.
In addition, the Economic Development Unit will support the tourist community to develop and
promote tourism packages, such as activity holidays, promotion of the gardens and demesnes,
eco tourism, heritage trails, food tourism, educational tourism etc. A key element of the plan
will be to promote seaside resorts, in particular Tramore, Clonea and Ardmore.

25. The Economic Development Unit will also support the creative / arts and culture sectors as key
attractions / tourist activities. In particular, Waterford City & County Council will develop the
network of arts (including theatre) and heritage facilities in Waterford City, Tramore, Dungarvan
and Lismore.

Tourism Promotion
26. Develop a holistic tourism promotion plan that offers the full range of tourist activities and
accommodation in Waterford. The promotional strategy will be devised, funded and
implemented in association with the industry. The Economic Development Unit will investigate
the scope to establish an appropriate Tourism Committee similar in structure to the Destination
Waterford City Tourism Committee.

27. Waterford Airport is a key component of the economic infrastructure of the South East. The
airport can both enable an increase in tourist numbers to the South East, and improve the
attractiveness of the region to FDI. Over recent years there has been a decline in the number of
services and passengers using Waterford Airport. The Economic Development Unit will work
with the Airport to improve the level of services at the airport. In particular, the Economic
Development Unit will use the CPO and planning instruments available to it to assist the airport
to achieve its development potential. Priorities will include:
• Completion of the CPO to facilitate the Runway End Service Area and the Runway Extension
(Waterford County Council (Airport Lands) CPO No 1 – 2012.
• Facilitate the extension of the runway expeditiously. This should improve the potential of the
airport to attract additional air services.
• Work with Waterford Airport to attract additional air services to the airport.
• Work with Waterford Airport to implement the Master Plan to help attract aviation sector
industries, and internationally traded businesses that seek to be located adjacent to an
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 12
28. In addition, the Economic Development Unit will work with Kilkenny County Council to develop
the Port of Waterford at Belview.

29. To ensure that business in Waterford can continue to innovate and invest in research and
development it will be necessary to harness the knowledge economy. The Economic
Development Unit will support the development of the University for the South East. In
particular, the Council will support investment in research and development, patent
development and innovation. The Economic Development Unit will support collaboration
between academia and industry, by supporting the development of Waterford Knowledge
Campus as a national cluster of academic and commercial research.
30. The Economic Development Unit will support the development of high level research centres
with WIT, including ICT, molecular biology and tourism. In addition, Waterford City & County
Council will investigate the potential to develop a centre of excellence of analytics with
Mercyhurst University, USA.

31. A key challenge for Waterford is to foster the full commercial potential of the Gateway, large
towns and villages. This will be achieved by implementing a comprehensive retail and
commercial strategy that:
• Provides clarity on retail policy using a retail hierarchy, identifying specific sites in the gateway
and towns in Waterford;
• Provides an economic framework for the capacity assessment of both commercial and retail
developments that can provide investors with confidence to develop schemes.
• Waterford City & County Council will facilitate site assembly in key urban areas to enable
regeneration as the market requires.
• Implement a campaign to attract investment attracting a mix of local, regional, national and
international retailers.
• Develop a programme with the Chambers of Commerce and the retail sector to promote the
commercial and retail sectors of the gateways and the towns.

32. Community and Social Enterprise can play a key role in delivering a range of services, on a
commercial, but not for profit basis throughout Waterford. There are over 200 social
enterprises operating in Waterford City and County. Forfás is due to publish a report on social
enterprise in Ireland, and Waterford City and County Council will be at the forefront of
implementing this strategy.
Waterford: Driving the Local & Regional Economy Initial Analysis Document
February 2013 13

33. It is intended that the Economic Development Unit will be established by April 2013 and will
comprise of the following staff.
Role No of Staff
Director of Economic Development 1
Senior Economic Development Officer 1
Enterprise Board (LEO) 4
Economic Development Officer 2
Tourism Officer 2
Grade IV 1
Total Staff Complement 11