why i chose the north west

‘Why I Chose The North West’ Survey

Access to schools, being closer to family and friends and less traffic. These are the three top determining factors for people who have relocated to the North West, according to a survey released today (Wednesday, May 29).

And almost half (44pc) of those surveyed said they now travel to work in 10 minutes or less – a commute time that is unimaginable for most working professionals.  

The North West Relocation Survey, entitled ‘Why I chose the North West’ and carried out by National Recruitment & HR Services Group Collins McNicholas, was launched this morning at the seaside village of Rosses Point, Co. Sligo.

It might surprise some, that respondents in many cases actually moved to the North West region to advance their career while at the same time benefitting from a new and improved work-life balance that counties like Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal can offer. In fact, 76% of respondents moved into a similar or more senior role than the one they held before moving, which shows the opportunities that exist in the North West.

They now also enjoy a significantly lower cost of living and a high increase in disposable income.  More than three quarters of those who responded said their disposable income had increased since moving to the North West.

Four out of five (82pc) of those who responded hold an honours degree or above which shows the North West is attracting highly-qualified professionals.

One third of respondents had moved to the North West from overseas of which 10pc were from the UK. Just under one-third moved from Dublin and just over one-third from locations across the rest of Ireland. *[See notes for full details of respondents and when survey took place]

Some of the other key findings of the survey were:

  • 70% now enjoy a lower cost of living, with 77% experiencing an increase in their disposable income
  • 84% have already bought or would consider buying property in the region
  • 91% of those surveyed would recommend moving to the North West

The North West is becoming a hub for tech jobs thanks to a string of positive job announcements recently. In 2018, Abbott announced 500 new jobs at its Donegal site and over 1,000 jobs were announced in Sligo by firms such as AbbVie, Phibro, Abtran, E3 Retail, LiveTiles and Overstock. In February this year, Avantcard in Leitrim and GW Plastics in Sligo announced 240 jobs between both companies. As recently as yesterday, New Jersey-based company ASG announced 100 jobs for Sligo.

Antoinette O’Flaherty, Collins McNicholas Director – North West Region, said:

“It’s no surprise that the North West is attracting such a high calibre of talent given the opportunities that now exist here. It’s rewarding to see that the people we have helped relocate to the region are experiencing an exceptional lifestyle while advancing their careers with global companies.

“Once people move here, it doesn’t take long for them to start building a new life as they realise the possibilities the region has to offer. This is demonstrated by the 84pc of respondents who have bought or would consider buying property in the region.”

John Nugent, Regional Manager, North West Region, IDA Ireland said:

“This survey by Collins McNicholas confirms the offering of the North West region – fulfilling and challenging careers in a location that offers an exceptional and affordable work-life balance. The results show that terrific careers for highly-qualified candidates combined with North West location factors such as shorter commutes, quality of — and access to — schools and lower cost of living is a winning combination.

“IDA Ireland has a well-established enterprise base in the North West and continues to attract new, highly-innovative and dynamic companies into the region alongside exciting local companies – all offering superb employment in a world-class location.” 

Padraic White, Chairman of Collins McNicholas and former Managing Director of IDA Ireland said:

“One of the top three reasons when deciding to re-locate to the North West is ‘access to schools’ which reflects both the capacity of schools to take in new pupils and the quality of education and the teachers right through primary, secondary and third level. Achieving a Technological University in the North West region will be essential in maintaining the competitiveness of the region in attracting investment in future years.

“One of the other top three factors influencing relocation is ‘less traffic’ but we are operating on borrowed time as far as access to and from the North West region for business is concerned. Upgrading the N4 from Mullingar to Sligo is most urgent; the road is in dire need of improvement as it is inhibiting the potential of the North West.  A priority should be the Carrick-on-Shannon by-pass as the current through road cannot cope and is causing serious delays between Dublin-Sligo at peak times.

“Similarly, the planned improvement to the A5 route from Aughnacloy to Donegal and Derry, to which the Irish Government is to make a financial contribution, has been seriously delayed.

“The North West, its politicians, local authorities and business, need to exert a more concerted push to get these key routes prioritised and a much greater sense of urgency behind their advancement in the interest of the continued economic development of the region.”

Read Why I Chose the NW Survey results here