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New Irish Consulate for Manchester

Manchester Irish Festival.

The Irish government have confirmed they will expand their diplomatic representation in Britain with the opening of a consulate general in Manchester covering the North of England.

The Government notified the British foreign office of its plans last week and the new consular office is expected to open in the first half of 2021.

The coverage area of the new diplomatic mission is expected to comprise the three regions of the North of England: North West, North East and Yorkshire and The Humber.

When opened, the Consulate will report to the Ambassador of Ireland in London, Adrian O’Neill, and will work closely with Enterprise Ireland to help Irish companies seek opportunities and partnerships across the North of England.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney made the announcement ahead of a virtual visit to Dublin on Monday by the mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said: “Moving ahead with plans for a new Consulate in the North of England is a really strong signal of Ireland’s commitment to the Irish-British relationship. When opened, this new Consulate General at the heart of the North of England will upgrade our capacity to advance our commercial interests and our cultural and people-to-people links.

“Enhancing our collaboration with regional and local government in Britain will be a big part of our work to deepen Irish-British links. We look forward to a valuable exchange with Mayors Burnham and Rotheram today, who between them represent areas with a combined population of 4.3 million people and with deep historic links to Ireland”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland said: “Enterprise Ireland warmly welcomes the announcement of a new Consulate General for the North of England. The North West of England is a very dynamic business environment.

“Reflective of this, in 2019, Enterprise Ireland opened a second office in the UK, based in Manchester, to develop and sustain Irish export growth to the UK.

“In the North West of England there are particularly strong opportunities in infrastructure, housing, clean energy and transport, healthcare and manufacturing. While Brexit introduces challenges and complexity to the market, the UK will continue to be an important and attractive market for Irish enterprise.

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“In 2019, Enterprise Ireland client companies achieved the highest ever recorded exports to the UK and overall grew by 2% to €7.9bn. We look forward to working with the Consulate General to strengthen Ireland’s presence in the region.”

Following formal notification last week, arrangements are now being made for this new diplomatic office, which will bring the number of Irish diplomatic missions in Great Britain to four after the re-opening of Ireland’s Consulate General in Wales in 2019 and the expansion of Ireland’s Embassy in London. There is also a Consulates General in Edinburgh.

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