Direct Access consultants were honoured to be part of the meeting in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin, on 29 March.

The meeting, whose attendants included the Mayors of Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Regions, sets a precedent for ensuing collaborations between the North West and Ireland in meeting mutual civic, commercial, environmental, and cultural objectives, as the UK and Ireland both recover from effects of Covid-19 and Brexit.

The mission was attended by several business delegations and civic leaders from both Ireland and the North West, who wish to strengthen trade and investment opportunities, and UK-Irish relations as a whole. The meeting will advance the respective International Strategies of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester Combined Authorities, both of which identify Ireland as a priority strategic partner and commit to strengthening mutually beneficial trade and innovation linkages, centred on the Irish Sea.

In addition to building further commercial ties between Ireland and the North West, sustainability and accessibility was also on the mind of both mayors and Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, which is where we come in.

Boasting a team familiar with each of these regions, Direct Access consultants discussed opportunities for boosting accessibility across Ireland, Liverpool, and Manchester respectively, for environments that are built, natural, as well as online. Having previously delivered accessibility to iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ireland, as well as several Manchester/Liverpool based businesses, our team will innovate new ways to create sustainable, accessible environments in Ireland and the North West, thanks to the backing of this mission.

Our Operations Director Steve Dering, remarked, “We have worked tirelessly to improve accessibility in areas that were key to this joint mission to Ireland, including retail, academia, tourism, and mass transit. We cannot wait to play a part in realising this meeting’s potential to build on this foundation, and work harder to improve the lives of disabled people across Ireland and the North West regions even further”.

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