Economy of Cork

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The Elysian under construction in December 2007

The second largest city in Ireland, Cork has an economy focused on the city centre, which as of 2011, supported employment for 24,092 people.[1] According to 2006 figures, the top five employers in the area were public sector organisations, and included Cork University Hospital, University College Cork, Collins Barracks, Cork City Council and Cork Institute of Technology. Apple Inc. was the sixth largest employer, followed by Supervalu / Centra Distribution Ltd, Mercy University Hospital, Bon Secours Hospital and Boston Scientific.[1]

Industry and workforce[edit]

Most of the industry in Cork is concentrated around the Greater Cork area, taking in Cork city and its hinterland, supported by the Cork Suburban Rail network.[citation needed]

The immediate Cork city area has a population of 150,000 in the city and suburbs, while another 150,000 live within the commuter belt giving Metropolitan Cork a population of c. 300,000. Large city suburbs include Douglas (25,000), Bishopstown (13,000) and Mahon (12,000). Larger towns in the commuter belt are: Ballincollig (20,000), Glanmire (15,000), Carrigaline (13,000), Cóbh (12,887), Mallow (11,000), Midleton (10,336), Youghal (7,000), Fermoy (7,000), Bandon (6,000), Carrigtwohill (6,000), Blarney (5,000), Passage West (5,000), Kinsale (4,000), Macroom (4,000) and Ringaskiddy.

Some of the companies within this area include Pfizer (Pharmaceutical), GlaxoSmithKline (Pharmaceutical), Johnson & Johnson (Pharmaceutical), EMC (Data Storage), Apple inc. (European HQ), Avery Dennison (Financial Shared Services), Siemens Group (Third party multi-lingual tech support) and the Marriott Group (Shared Services and Customer Service Contact Centre), Centocor (Biopharmaceutical Manufacture), McAfee (Security Software, EU Operations Centre), VMware (Enterprise Software and International Support/Shared Services Centre), Clearstream and (Customer Services – On line Retail Activities).

There are two main third-level institutions in the city, University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology which have a combined population[clarification needed] of 34,000.[citation needed]

Information Technology and pharmaceuticals[edit]

Cork County Hall

Information Technology multinationals such as Apple, Amazon, EMC, IBM, McAfee Ireland Limited, SolarWinds, Siemens and VMware INC have a presence in the city.

The area around Cork is home to a number of pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical companies, with a number of pharmaceutical companies located in Little Island and Ringaskiddy.


Mahon Point Shopping Centre is County Cork's largest shopping center, having opened in 2005. Almost €737 million has been invested in Mahon, Cork,[citation needed] including the N25 dual carriageway extending from Dunkettle Roundabout to Cork Airport & Cork City via a €137 million tunnel, the Jack Lynch Tunnel, which opened in 1999. Construction began on the shopping centre in 2000, and opened in 2005. Other larger retail centres in the city and suburbs include Wilton Shopping Centre, Blackpool Shopping Centre , and two centres in the suburb of Douglas.

Offices and business parks[edit]

Larger office buildings in the city include Half Moon Street, Penrose Wharf and The Elysian in the city centre, with Linn Dubh and The Atrium in Blackpool, and City Gate Park in Mahon.

The larger IDA business parks in Cork City and surroundings include Little Island Business Park and Cork Airport Business Park. Other smaller parks include Cork Business and Technology Park, Kilbarry Business and Technology Park, Carrigtwohill Business and Technology Park and Ringaskiddy Business Park.


Brewery quarter[edit]

A proposed development of the old Beamish & Crawford brewery site has a projected cost of 150 million euro, at the heart of which is to be an events centre with a capacity of 6,000 seats. Construction of the events centre is planned for the end of 2015.[needs update][citation needed] Heineken Ireland/ BAM also plans a 360-degree viewing tower, a tourist centre in the former brewery Counting House, a cinema complex, artists studios, retail units, offices and student accommodation.[2]

One Albert Quay[edit]

One Albert Quay is a commercial development consisting of a 175,000 sq ft office block on Albert Quay. Work commenced in September 2014 and the office block's basement, lift shaft and steelwork are already in place.[needs update] The complex was planned for completion in February 2016, with a capacity to accommodate 1,700 employees.[3]

Cork Harbour[edit]

An estimated €1bn of investment is expected[according to whom?] in the Cork Harbour, including projects to clean up the previous Irish Steel/Irish Ispat site on Haulbowline Island, with a further €40m ear-marked to redevelop Spike Island as a tourist attraction.[4]

See also[edit]