Expansion in Cork

June 23, 2021
Makayla Santino

Ireland is predicted to have significant population growth over the next twenty years. More specific estimates predict that there will be about one million additional residents in this time frame. The National Planning Framework (NPF)/Project Ireland 2040 recently set an agenda to help Cork withstand the increase in population. 

There is an emphasis on making Cork the best place to reside and work with specific goals in housing, employment, sustainability, and transportation. The framework has reported that it is set to reach an impressive growth target of 50% growth by 2040. 

Part of NPF’s work is the Southern Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES). This plan can be further broken down and includes the Cork Metropolitan Area Strategic Plan (MASP). MASP further elaborates on the targets set for Cork to make it a global location that pushes both economic and population growth.

One such target was for Cork to increase its population from 210,000 in 2016 to 289,00 in 2031. This population growth would also need to be accompanied by 65,000 new jobs in the area to accommodate the new residents. MASP acknowledges that the numbers in growth they seek will need serious investment and infrastructure to be successful.

Another plan the NPF works with is the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027. NDP has a goal to carry out a more balanced growth across the North, West, and South of the Republic. 

The NPF has made it clear that developing and expanding the city’s employment base is crucial to the success of their plans. The city wants to appeal to innovative entrepreneurs and be available to investors. 

A number of cities were selected as critical locales for sizable work developments and foreign direct investment. These towns include Carrigtwohill, Little Island, Ringaskiddy, and Whitegate. These plans are critical because the Industrial Development Authority’s (IDA) investment in pivotal locations has allowed for important projects that would not have been possible without availability for investors.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar spoke on IDA’s plans earlier this year, describing that their 2021 plans have been continuously disturbed by the pandemic and Brexit. He went on to say that about half of total investments made by FDI companies contributed to counties outside of Dublin in 2020. This goes to show that these institutions are looking to expand the entire country rather than only focusing on the very biggest cities.

If all goes according to these plans, there may be many new booms in the housing market, notably Cork. Once construction is caught up from the lag during the pandemic, it seems likely that there will be much housing growth to accommodate the quickly increasing population in Ireland. 




“Metropolitan Plans Have Bright Future for People Living in Cork.” Irish Examiner, 22 June 2021, https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/munster/arid-40317293.html.

Leave a comment