Demand for restaurants adds to pressure on planners and on rents
of new restaurants in the area to the south. I don’t agree that uses on our streets should be left to the market to sort out, but I fear that opposition to food and beverage uses, in certain locations, has gone too far.
l Business has a flexible friend in Cork
I was in Cork last week to speak to the sales teams at Kearys Motor Group. Kearys, with multiple dealerships and selling 5,000 cars per annum, is one of Ireland’s largest motor groups.
Managing director Bill Keary said the group is embarking on a major training programme for its staff, which will embrace the fast changing technology in the motor business, to further improve customer experience.
To emphasise the rate of change being experienced more generally, rather than book a meeting room in a hotel, the sales event took place in one of Cork’s new ‘flexible’ business locations, a facility known as ‘The Republic of Work’ at 12 South Mall.
This co-working space of 1550 sq m opened earlier this year, offering shortterm office and desk space. Its managing director, Frank Brennan, told me that the business is going extremely well.
The business model is to offer a rolling 30-day contract on either ‘hotdesks’ or ‘dedicated desks’ which suits companies that are growing, longer established firms that need extra space, and incoming multinational projects.
The rent for a hot desk is €299 plus VAT per month, or €399 plus VAT for a dedicated desk. Those rates include heating, lighting, electricity, WiFi and a printing allowance. Private suites of offices are also available.
Mr Brennan said that the community aspect of the facility is crucial, with a lot of collaboration between the occupants.
The weekly ‘lunch-andlearn’ sessions see outside experts speaking on topics such as financing, pitching for business and employment law. Bank of Ireland has four desks in the building which are provided to university graduates starting up companies.
Mr Brennan sees potential for further Republic of Work facilities in the Cork suburbs. He also plans to open facilities in Limerick and Galway.