Businesses who come to Ireland’s Largest Regional City succeed.


Regional Capital

Waterford is a key driver of Ireland’s future prosperity and presents a compelling offer to those choosing to invest. Project Ireland 2040 – the national strategy for Ireland – sets ambitious targets for Waterford as a driver of growth in the South East region and as a counter balance to Dublin.  A focus on compact growth in urban centres will see the population of Waterford City and suburbs grow by 30,000, to 85,000.  This growth will be supported by Ireland’s National Development Plan, a 10 year, €115bn programme to upgrade state infrastructure in anticipation of the population increase.

The South East region is the 6th fastest growing region in the EU in terms of job growth.  Companies investing in Waterford benefit from the wider South East region with its population of 604,000 living within a 60-minute catchment, which will rise to 804,000 by 2040 and a then workforce of 187,000.  17,000 jobs will be created in the Waterford City urban area and 83,000 jobs created across the South East region by 2040.

Waterford is the economic driver of the 7th fastest growing region in the EU in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA).  Total GVA for the South East is expected to increase by 150% to €518bn by 2040 and the GVA for Waterford is expected to grow by €1bn per annum, from €21bn in 2018 to €53bn by 2040, representing a 150% increase over the period or 4.3% year on year.  GVA per capita is expected to rise by 3% between 2018-2040 and this is in line with growth rates experienced between 2000-2017.  The continued growth in GVA per capita will be driven by employment growth in high value sectors such as ICT and high-tech manufacturing.

  • Waterford, the regional capital of the South East of Ireland, is designated as one of Ireland’s 5 ‘Strategic Metropolitan Areas’ in the National Planning Framework.
  • Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city with a rich and varied cultural heritage. Life here is compact, vibrant and sustainable with an enviable quality of life.
  • Waterford’s Belview deep-water port is connected to global shipping hubs, providing access to American and Asian markets.
  • Waterford city is home to the country’s highest ranking Institute of Technology, possessing 350 active international academic partnerships with students drawn from over 70 countries.
  • Rosslare’s Ro-Ro container port is within a 60-minute drive of the city, providing daily routes to Great Britain and frequent routes to mainland Europe.


Waterford City is the largest urban area in the South East and is identified in the National Planning Framework as the principal urban centre and the economic engine for the region. Waterford City has a population of 54,000, a county-wide population of 116,000 and the largest regional catchment in Ireland with a population of 604,000 within a 60-minute drive. The projected population growth sees a catchment population growing to 804,000 by 2040. A 30% rise in regional population will be driven by a 60% rise in Waterford city’s population. The projected growth is in line with population growth evidenced in the region from 2000-2018.

Waterford City Region GVA

Waterford City Region’s GVA is expected to rise from €21 million in 2018 to €53 billion by 2040. This integrates a 3% annual rise in GVA per capita and a 1.3% annual rise in the regions’ population. Total GVA for the Waterford City Region is expected to grow at a rate of 4.3% per annum. The projected 3% growth in GVA will be driven by growth in employment in high value sectors such as Information, Communications and Technology and High-Tech Manufacturing.



Waterford City Regional population will rise annually by +1.3% from 604,000 in 2018 to 804,000 in 2040. This 30% rise in the regional population will be driven by a +60% rise in the Waterford City urban population.

These projected growth rates are very much in line with the Irish Government’s National Planning Framework (Project Ireland 2040) which anticipates a 30,000 increase in population in Waterford City to 2040. The anticipated 200,000 extra people in the region are in line with population growth trends seen in the 2000-2018 period and represents the largest city-region catchment outside of Dublin.

How we help
We can provide investment support and advice on doing business in Waterford. We facilitate introductions to economic development agencies, private industry, academia and government.