Waterford port located at Belview in south Kilkenny
An economic impact study commissioned by the Port of Waterford shows that the Belview Industrial Zone in South Kilkenny surrounding and including the port now supports 632 full-time jobs directly and a further 348 indirectly, a total of 980.
In 2017, the 265-hectare zone in Kilkenny generated turnover of €388 million directly and a further €555 million through its multiplier effect in the wider economy, giving an overall impact of €942.4 million.
The zone’s estimated gross valued added (GVA) last year was more than €190 million while the direct regional impact of the Belview Industrial Zone is underlined by a review of those employed within it.
Of 588 personnel reviewed for the study, 317 (54%) live in Waterford, 147 (25%) in Kilkenny and 94 (16%) in Wexford. This makes the Belview Industrial Zone one of the biggest sources of employment across three counties in the southeast with the remainder commuting from counties Tipperary, Laois, Limerick, Kildare and Cork.
The value of goods shipped through the Port annually is estimated at €1.7bn in the 36-page study completed by Raymond Burke Consulting.
Reviewing the sources and destinations for freight transiting Waterford, the report’s authors found the direct impacts of Brexit should be minimal as three-quarters of the Port’s business is with mainland Europe and just 2% with the U.K. Furthermore the Port’s south-east location makes it a good option to facilitate businesses wishing to bypass the UK and provide direct connections with the continent.
With Waterford now established as the country’s third most popular cruise destination – attracting more than 20 cruise calls this year – there is also a considerable economic spin-off to the Southeast’s tourism and hospitality sector.
Commenting on the study, Frank Ronan, CEO, Port of Waterford, said: “The findings highlight the very significant economic impact of the Belview Industrial Zone on the southeast and national economy.
“While this is something we’ve obviously been aware of, it is valuable to have the data collated so we have a holistic view of the zone and how the 20 or so companies based alongside the port here contribute in terms of employment and economic activity.
“What has been delivered here over the 25 years since shipping activity was relocated from the quays in Waterford is a strong infrastructure, a major economic asset in the port and a business-friendly environment. There is very considerable potential for further development here and, for our part, the Port of Waterford is committed to working with other stakeholders to unlock that growth potential," he said.