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Limerick sees growth in start-ups but Dublin still dominates

Figures from CRIF Vision-Net also show rise in construction and real-estate start-ups

There were 440 new start-ups in Limerick in the first half of 2018, a 23 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Limerick saw the biggest growth in new company start-ups in the first half of 2018 but Dublin still accounts for the lion’s share of new business activity, according to figures from business information provider CRIF Vision-Net.

There were 440 new start-ups in Limerick during the six-month period, a 23 per cent increase on the same period last year.

A total of 5,214 were founded in Dublin during the same period, up 3.2 per cent on last year, while 1,168 were founded in Cork, up 3.5 per cent, and 466 in Galway, up 1.3 per cent.

Firms providing professional services were the most prolific, accounting for 2,419 of the total, up 8.6 per cent on last year. But start-ups in construction and real-estate sectors also saw strong growth, growing by 13.7 per cent to 1,271 and by 7.3 per cent to 527 respectively, reflecting the wider pick-up in construction and property-related activities across the State.

The education sector had one of the most significant increases, growing by nearly 29 per cent to 183 new companies.

There was, however, a drop in new motor industry start-ups, which fell by nearly 5 per cent to 173, reflecting a difficult trading environment complicated in part by Brexit-induced sterling fluctuations.

The figures also show insolvencies across the State dropped by 30 per cent. In line with its decrease in new company start-ups, the motor industry was one of the few sectors to see an increase in insolvencies, up by 16.7 per cent.

“The large increase in the number of start-ups in Limerick indicates that the cities and counties outside of Dublin are increasingly benefiting from the economic recovery,” said Christine Cullen, managing director of CRIF Vision-net.

“This is a welcome development and an indicator that Ireland’s other regions can provide a counterweight to Dublin. The growth of start-ups outside of the capital needs to be encouraged. Targeted investments, such as the M20 Cork-Limerick motorway, should enable sustained regional development for the years ahead.”

“Ireland’s continued economic growth is allowing more companies to thrive. Consumer spending is rising consistently, business opportunities are plentiful, and banks and other financial services companies are lending more to companies and start-ups,” Ms Cullen said.

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