Dublin’s historic Liberties area is fast emerging as the Innovation District in the capital, and has a plethora of opportunities for both investors and innovators. 

The Liberties Business Forum and Dublin City Council organised the Liberties Enterprise Day on October 10th, 2017. The series of events were hosted in partnership with the Bank of Ireland and aimed at showcasing the best that the area has to offer.

“The Liberties is undergoing a period of exciting transformation”, says Anthony Joyce, the chairperson of Liberties Business Forum. “Major new investments across healthcare, digital enterprise, tourism and the physical environment are underway. The area’s business sector is vibrant and diverse, with independent retailers, new cafes and eateries, design studios, creative enterprises and start-ups and a growing craft food and drink sector all adding to the vitality of its historic commercial streets.

 “From our perspective, we have all the attractions needed to position The Liberties as Dublin’s Innovation District and as an integral part of commercial life in the city.

 Recent and upcoming investment in the area includes:

  • The development of the new national children’s hospital (NCH) and the expansion of St James’s Hospital. St James’s plans to develop a world-class national paediatric centre, co-located with an adult teaching hospital by 2021 and with a further phase of work planned to incorporate a maternity hospital.
  • Plans for the Digital Hub, Ireland’s largest digital cluster, and the Guinness Enterprise Centre to double in size. Both enterprise clusters are key players in attracting indigenous and international enterprises to Dublin 8.
  • The development of three major hotels, resulting in 1,000 new hotel rooms in the area.
  • The recent opening of the Pearse Lyons Distillery on James’s Street, which followed the opening of Teeling Distillery on Newmarket in 2015, restoring The Liberties as a hub for traditional industries, craft brewing and distilling, after near-terminal decline in the 20th century.
  • Diageo Ireland’s announcement last week of a major redevelopment of its historic St James’s Gate campus to create a major new city centre quarter of residential, commercial and leisure buildings.

Significant public-sector investment is creating new parks and amenities, street renewal and ambitious major public space improvements in Francis Street and Newmarket. Dublin City Council has a pipeline of €15m worth of further projects either completed or planned for the coming years.

Dublin City Council’s Area Manager for the Liberties says, “In this historic quarter of Dublin, where people lived outside of the walled city, ideas flourished and innovation thrived. Our vision is to build on the innovation that exists so that this part of Dublin can be a world centre of excellence in innovation, health and well-being. The opportunity of linking digital innovation and medical care provided for by the Digital Hub, the Guinness Enterprise Centre and the Children’s Hospital, can make Dublin a world leader in medical technology.”

He also asserted that the moment to invest, start business and live in Dublin’s Liberties is now.

The Liberties Enterprise Day was addressed by a number of local business leaders, including the CEO of St James’s Hospital, Lorcan Birthistle; Manager of the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC), Eamonn Sayers; Chief Executive of the Children’s Hospital Group, Eilísh Hardiman; CEO of SICCDA, Michael Conlon; Managing Director of DHR Communications, Catherine Heaney; Jack Teeling of Teeling Whiskey; and Lindsay Nguyen of SwiftComply.

The Liberties Business Forum represents the interests of large and small businesses and stakeholders in Dublin’s historic Liberties district. The Forum works in partnership with Dublin City Council to oversee and deliver The Liberties Business Area Improvement Initiative – an initial three-year collaboration to transform the business environment of Dublin 8. 

For further information on The Liberties Dublin visit www.libertiesdublin.ie, @libertiesdublin on Twitter and Instagram or facebook.com/libertiesdublin.


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