The National Enterprise Town Awards: Dublin Docklands

We are profiling all the towns to enter this year’s National Enterprise Town Awards. Today we are looking at the Dublin Dockland’s.

Dublin Docklands is an area of the city of Dublin, which covers both sides of the River Liffey, roughly from Talbot Memorial Bridge eastwards to the 3Arena. The area is Ireland’s most successful urban regeneration.

The Dublin Docklands comprises of 520 hectares or 1300 acres of land on the north and south banks of the River Liffey. In the past there was little contact between the communities on both sides of the river.

The earliest indication of humanity in this part of the city is a Mesolithic wicker fish trap that was found at Spencer Dock; an Iron Age trap from circa 200BC was found at the Guinness brewery in about 2016.

Until Butt Bridge opened in 1879, Sackville Bridge – now O’Connell Bridge – was the nearest crossing-point, so people relied on the Liffey ferries to cross downstream. Following the opening of the Custom House in 1791, people and businesses moved into the Docklands, and the area saw strong growth throughout the nineteenth century.

The Docklands has over recent years been regenerated as an extension of the modern business hub of Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). The urban regeneration has transformed the Docklands into an innovative built environment and a uniquely modern area in which to do business.

Over the last twenty years, Dublin Docklands has transformed from urban wasteland to vibrant city hub with 45,000 jobs, with world leaders in technology, finance, consultancy and law.

Producing 9pc of Ireland’s GDP, the area is also home to a vibrant SME and start-up culture inspired by and thriving among the corporate giants. With an influx of talent from all over Ireland and beyond, Dublin Docklands is now home to over 26,000 residents (26,703 according to the most recent census).

The Docklands Business Forum is the business association for the Dublin Docklands and is recognised as the primary business organisation by the Dublin Docklands Area Master Plan 2008. With a membership representing over 35,000 employees, including many of the key national and international players in the finance, legal, digital and communications sectors, the DBF is a key stakeholder in the Docklands’ area.

The Steering Committee is elected at the Docklands Business Forum AGM each year. Its role is to provide policy, governance and oversight for the Forum.

As an area, it has had to overcome many challenges in the past, but the Dublin Dockland’s has a unique fighting spirit with big plans for the future to keep it as one of Ireland’s most vibrant and thriving communities.

Written by Stephen Larkin

Published: 31 October, 2019