Minister Humphreys leads Enterprise Ireland's trade mission to Manchester, Birmingham and the Midlands

10th April 2019

Manchester Opening
Marina Donohoe, Regional Director UK and Northern Europe, Enterprise Ireland, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland opens new office in Manchester to further boost exports to major UK growth regions

55 Enterprise Ireland clients participating in Trade Mission focused on construction, manufacturing and local authority spending opportunities

Reaffirming Ireland’s commitment to maintaining the strongest trading relationship with the UK, in a post Brexit era, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys will lead Enterprise Ireland’s three-day trade mission to Manchester, Birmingham and the Midlands region, commencing today. With a focus on key growth regions in the UK and growth opportunities across construction, manufacturing and local authority spending, fifty-five Enterprise Ireland clients are participating on the trade mission, from major players; Sisk and Mergon, to innovative new high growth companies; Over-C and CitySwifter.

While the Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is focused on supporting clients to reduce their Brexit exposure, and to increase exports globally, beyond the UK, developing and sustaining export growth opportunities for Irish exporters to the UK is also a key priority. The trade mission focuses on two major growth areas; Manchester as part of the “Northern Powerhouse” and Birmingham and the West Midlands as part of the “Midlands Engine”.

The Northern Powerhouse is a particularly dynamic region in the UK, growing at a faster rate than London in recent years. If it were a country it would be the 10th largest economy in Europe. The Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine are both major centres of the UK’s manufacturing activity, while Birmingham is being transformed by two major infrastructure projects; the scheduled arrival of HS2, the £55 billion new high-speed railway project linking London to the North and the city will host the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Leading Enterprise Ireland’s trade mission to the UK, Minister Humphreys said: “The UK is our long-standing trading partner and the Irish Government, through Enterprise Ireland, is committed to consolidating our exports to the UK market while also helping companies diversify into new markets across the world. While there are obviously challenges, there are also opportunities and that’s why this trade mission is focused on growth sector opportunities in the UK.”

“Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, Ireland wants the closest possible trading relationship with the UK after Brexit because this works for businesses on both sides of the Irish sea. It remains our strong hope that the UK parliament will ratify the Withdrawal Agreement to make for as seamless as possible a transition to a new trading relationship between the EU and the UK.” added Minister Humphreys.

During the visit Minister Humphreys will be engaging with senior officials and decision makers in the region, including Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, Councilor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council and first Mayor of the new West Midlands Combined Authority, Andy Street.

Enterprise Ireland today also announced the opening of a new Enterprise Ireland office in Manchester, its second office in the UK. The new Manchester office will play an important role in further increasing exports and providing support to clients to expand their reach in the Midlands and Northern UK region.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: ‘While Brexit introduces challenges and complexity to the market, the UK will continue to be a key market for clients. We have identified strategic growth opportunities for Irish exporters across construction, advanced manufacturing and local authority spending in Manchester, Birmingham and the Midlands. The opening of our office in Manchester is critical to boosting our presence in the region, assisting clients to secure business in areas of growth and supporting clients committed to this region. Enterprise Ireland will use its presence here to ensure that the UK continues to be a key market for Enterprise Ireland clients.”

The three-day trade mission, involving fifty-five Enterprise Ireland clients will include a meeting for clients with Birmingham City Council on Birmingham’s housing and construction opportunities, an event with Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority focused on innovation and digital transformation in local authorities, business networking lunch in Manchester for clients with a presence in the region, and a visit to Malone Group, an Enterprise Ireland client who has established a presence in the region to capitalise on the opportunities in manufacturing and industry 4.0.

Ends

For reference, please contact:

Marika MacCarville

International PR

Enterprise Ireland

Marika MacCarville

+353 1 7272857

+353 86 171 2568