Sandyford Business District
Driving innovation in east Dublin’s global business quarter and aiming to become the Sandyford Innovation District by 2021.
Sandyford Business District (SBD) comprises four Business Parks (Central Park, Sandyford Business Park, South County Business Park and Stillorgan Business Park) and is bordered by the Leopardstown Racecourse & Naomh Olaf GAA Grounds. With its readily accessible location, highly educated workforce and proven track record for key industry sectors, the SBD is a prime location for SMEs and multinational companies alike.
Located in the east of the Dublin region, Sandyford Business District is a vibrant mix of established communities, young families and business, with a total workforce of approx. 25,000 in 1,000 companies. It is well serviced by a modern light rail system (LUAS) to the City and by the M50 road network to the rest of the country. This accessibility and strategic positioning has been a key factor in attracting a large number of high profile businesses including; Microsoft, Google, Sage, Vodafone, Mastercard, Salesforce, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, SSE Airtricity, and Ardagh Group.
Although currently well provided for, imminent development plans include 600 new apartments and the new Nord Anglia International School for 800 students opening in September 2018 which further strengthens the fabric of the community for working families and its attractiveness to employers.
The Sandyford Business Improvement District Company
Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) involve local businesses, forming a company that is funded directly by them and charged with identifying and implementing key projects which aim to make material improvements for those working and living in an area. In October 2016, Sandyford BID CLG (SBID) was established (www.sandyford.ie).
One of the major benefits of the Sandyford Business Improvement District (BID) to its members is that they can utilise the company to engage with the Council on their behalf and identify areas of improvement within the district.
SBID is made up of a highly motivated Board of Directors, drawn from the business community, and representatives of Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) with over 60 companies participating on its six Task Forces to develop solutions around key areas, namely: Business Attraction, Infrastructure, Marketing and Events, Smart Innovation, Saving & Benefits & Wellbeing.
No company is successful without a good team behind it and SBID is led by its new District Director Fiona Fitzpatrick and supported by an Office Manager, Event Manager and Innovation Champion to assist with growing and promoting Sandyford as a smart destination to live, work and invest.
Collaboration and networking are key elements of a successful Business Improvement District and members are invited to a broad range of networking and signature events which include; the Sandyford Business District Awards, Sandyford Spirit 5k run & Wellness week, €10 million breakfast, Sandyford Innovation Forum, Sandyford Summer BBQ along with monthly networking meet-ups. These events are critical to developing a sense of ownership for participants in the district.
Sandyford Smart District
Sandyford was officially launched as a “SMART District” by DLRCoCo in May 2018. To advance the level of collaboration, innovation and specialist talent development, SMART Sandyford manages a series of morning meet-ups and lunchtime briefings, inviting key speakers from multinationals, SMEs and start-ups.
The district is also very engaged on SMART Travel initiatives in collaboration with DLRCoCo. Significant investment will made to promote smarter travel in cycle routes, improved pedestrian routes and crossings. Traffic management measures will also be designed to manage traffic flows in the district. (http://www.sandyfordsmartertravel.ie)
Working with DLRCoCo, substantial success has been achieved with an investment of over €150,000 in landscaping and herbaceous boarders within the district including a pocket park on Bracken Road. Looking forward, a public park with amenities for the district will commence in the coming months. Further improvements to roads and infrastructure will commence in October and plans are well underway for a new signage scheme which will bring uniformity and identity to the district.
The Smart District Initiative has helped to focus our resources specifically on the challenges facing the area and has assisted in developing innovative solutions to meet the needs of the people and business in Sandyford.” – Philomena Poole, Chief Executive, DLCCo.Co.
The Sandyford Innovation District
Seeking to build on the success of its experience with SBID and the Smart District initiative, the team is planning on developing a Sandyford Innovation District in the coming years. Innovation districts constitute best practice in terms of placemaking and clusters, combining the best of entrepreneurs, educational institutions, start-ups, schools and mixed-use development and public infrastructure all connected by sustainable transit, like bike share and trams, powered by clean energy and wired for digital technology. This combination of collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship makes Sandyford one to watch and a smart place to invest.
Sharon is also a founder member and current chairperson and director of Sandyford BID CLG, a company established under the local Government (Business Investment District) Act, 2006.