The CEO of Shannon Group has said, for Limerick and the region to achieve its full potential the development of the Limerick Northern Distributor Road (LNDR) is critical.
Speaking following a briefing on the matter this week with Limerick Chamber of Commerce, Mr Matthew Thomas said that the LNDR will ensure that Limerick can maintain the growth that has seen it become Ireland’s best economic success story over the past three years or so and, in turn, helped underpin Shannon Airport’s resurgence.
“Shannon Airport has a significant stake in the Limerick economy. It’s the economic hub for the Mid-West region, which is Ireland’s fastest growing regional economy outside of Dublin, and when Limerick grows, Shannon does too.
“Just look at the past three years. There’s no coincidence that both have been resurgent over that period. There’s potential for further growth but it is not just going to happen. We have to create the environment that will make it happen and the LNDR will be critical as it has the potential to free up a very large area of the city that at present is constrained and congested. Everything suggests that if we can deliver this road and open up the north side of Limerick, further investment will flow.
“We view the LNDR as a regional asset as there’s a clear domino effect. It will trigger further investment into Limerick, which is good for Shannon and the stronger Shannon is, the stronger the region becomes.”
Also speaking after the meeting, Limerick Chamber CEO James Ring said: “We very much welcome Shannon Group’s support as it validates the importance of the LNDR even further. Shannon Airport and Limerick are intrinsically linked. If one grows, the other grows with it. So Shannon’s support for the LNDR says a lot about its importance.
“Many of the FDI clients that have come into the region have cited the airport’s presence here as one of the reasons they have invested. In turn, Shannon benefits from that investment as it underpins services there.
“The airport’s support is strong endorsement for the potential of the Northern Distributor Road to bring in more of that type of investment. The concern is that flip side of the LNDR not getting approval is that Limerick loses, Shannon loses and the Mid-West loses.”
Mr Thomas added: “Collectively, we have all as stakeholders in the region played a part in its quite remarkable recovery over the past few years but we must now look again and see what can keep us in growth mode and the Northern Distributor Road is one of the keys for that to happen.”