Irish Government to open trade office in Manchester

The Irish Government has announced it is to open a trade office in Manchester.

The news was made as part of an Irish trade delegation visit to Manchester, Birmingham and the Midlands to strengthen ties in a post Brexit era.

Ireland will be the first country to open a dedicated trade agency presence in the Northern Powerhouse region.

The Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys is leading the three-day trade mission.

The trade mission will focus on key growth regions in the UK and growth opportunities across construction, manufacturing, digital technologies and smart solutions, with 55 delegates taking part.

Delegates include PM Group and Mergon, and innovative new high growth companies Over-C and CitySwifter.

The new office will provide an opportunity for local businesses in the region to partner and collaborate with some of the most innovative SMEs in the EU.

Heather 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 and continuing to contribute to the success of the UK.

“Currently over 100,000 people are employed by Enterprise Ireland backed companies in the UK.

“With such strong historic, business, cultural and heritage ties between Ireland and Manchester, we are delighted to witness its renaissance and we are committed to the strengthening ties and building new partnerships into the future.

“The opening of Enterprise Ireland’s office in Manchester will be instrumental to this.

“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.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: “The opening of a new base for Enterprise Ireland in Manchester is a significant boost to our close trading and cultural relationships with Ireland, which have endured for many years and will continue to flourish in the future.

“As a proudly outward-looking city, we will continue to welcome close partnerships with friends from around the globe and so this mutually beneficial development, with the potential to foster new economic opportunities and technological innovation both here and in Ireland, is hugely welcome.”