Exciting Times Ahead for County Wexford Chambers
Wexford, New Ross and Gorey Chambers are delighted to announce they are moving forward with plans to merge and form a new County Wexford Chamber. Chambers Ireland, the umbrella body for the chambers movement across Ireland, has welcomed the news that a new County Wexford Chamber will be formed over the coming months. Ian Talbot, CEO of Chambers Ireland, said that the organisation is ‘delighted to support the merging of chambers in County Wexford who wish to achieve greater critical mass in their region. Increased collaboration will improve the chambers’ ability to deploy resources and provide a wider range of services to a broader membership base, while at the same time retaining the structures that ensure the voice of towns within the county are represented.’
The process to bring about this amalgamation has been ongoing for some time and has the potential to create a County Wexford Chamber which will be one of the largest regional chambers in Ireland and which will include many multi-nationals, large companies and SME’s amongst a potential overall membership of 450. Billy Sweetman, Partner PwC, who has been project managing a working group with the Chambers to develop this initiative, said “There is a growing interest in mergers among voluntary, community and business organisations in response to a combination of internal and external factors. The Chambers of Commerce in County Wexford have often worked together in the past, but there is now an ambition to achieve something more substantial and permanent with the formation of a County-wide Wexford Chamber. While change of this nature is often daunting and gives rise to legitimate concerns, the opportunity to provide an increased value proposition for their members and stakeholders is being embraced by the Chambers, who are determined to build on the influential business practices and services that they currently offer. The objective is the creation of a vibrant County Wexford Chamber, preserving the individual strengths of each of the chambers, while developing a new array of opportunities that a larger, County Chamber will afford the business community.” He noted that the working group was working toward a final merger proposal which would then be subject to approval by the membership of each of the respective Chambers.
The Chamber movement in County Wexford is heavily involved in business development across the county. They have established valuable relationships with other organisations through strategic networking and represent both local and national policy development. Chambers also effectively lobby to deliver decisions that support business and investment growth with the county and their collective strengths will now bring all of this influence to a new level of engagement.
A number of the Chambers in the County are now looking to the future and to a new sustainable model for delivering and supporting economic development across the county. This countywide approach has already been adopted very successful by other chambers, the most recent being the formation of County Kildare Chamber.
The view is that a strong County Wexford Chamber will provide a crucial and consistent engagement with stakeholders enabling Members to thrive in the ever-evolving business environment. Advancing Business Together, illustrates the ethos of Chambers across the country reflecting the work being done on behalf of Members in many different spheres including lobbying Local Government, National Government and the EU to shape policy and deliverables, as well as representing the concerns of business to relevant stakeholders. The advancement of this ethos is the driving force behind this amalgamation.
Tony Larkin, Director or Services with Wexford County Council, has welcomed this initiative. “Working together in order to create and advance business opportunities for the County will create a very strong and influential voice for business in Wexford. Wexford County Council looks forward to working collaboratively with the new County Wexford Chamber.”