Joining the Dots brings city leaders together to build connections around the shared challenges and opportunities and areas of economic strength for businesses in their respective regions by creating a safe space for confidential discussions. The project was initiated by the British Embassy in Cork and is facilitated by Connected Places Catapult. It was launched in 2018 with then Tánaiste Simon Coveney.
The project has developed an ongoing programme of dialogue, sharing best practice across regions and helping places learn from each other. Connected Places Catapult has so far facilitated events in Coventry/Birmingham, Limerick, Galway, Dublin, Belfast and Manchester to share common agendas.
The sharing of case studies that have the potential to be developed across regions is fundamental to the project. Kindred, from Liverpool City region, was profiled for how it supports socially traded organisations to start up and grow. Over two years it has invested £2m into 47 STOs and among other successes, one of these projects, Future Yard, from the Creative Leisure and Hospitality sector, has created 48 jobs and has turnover of £350,000. Another case study shared was a Belfast skill-up pilot that took 20 unemployed people (some 2/3rd generation unemployed) and trained and supported them through a 16-week course whilst ensuring continuation of universal credit.
At the event in Manchester, colleagues from across the UK and Ireland met at the Graphene Engineering and Innovation Centre and discussed how the changing nature of inward investment is reflecting the focus on research and innovation with keynotes from the London School of Economics, The Business of Cities and case studies from MIDAS and the Tyndall Institute in Cork with further discussions and a workshop to explore the priorities across the UK and Ireland.