New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, up for reelection next year, announced on St. Patrick’s Day that he will undertake a trade mission to Ireland later this year. Earlier, the governor announced a grant of $2 million to the Irish Arts Center from New York State.

"New York has already opened doors and created opportunities for businesses to expand into new global markets – and by bringing industry leaders and representatives from across the state together on a first-ever trade mission to Ireland, we will take our economy and diverse business community to heights never reached before," Cuomo said.

"This St. Patrick’s Day, we not only celebrate our Irish heritage, we embrace all New Yorkers from countries across the world, as we look forward to investing in the continued expansion of New York’s global footprint. This mission will strengthen our trade relationship and expand business development opportunities with our partners in Ireland for generations to come."

Dates for the trade mission have yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, Cuomo also announced the Irish Arts Center grant which will go towards the construction of the center’s new state of the art home on 11th Avenue, near its current premises.  Construction on the new facility, which has raised $56 million to date from both private and government donations, is expected to begin later this year.

"The story of New York is the story of immigrants and the contributions of the Irish are woven into the very fabric of this great state," Cuomo said. “The new Irish Arts Center will allow New Yorkers and visitors alike to appreciate the rich legacy of the Irish in America, learn more about a people and culture that have changed the course of a country and continue to do so today, and attract new visitors and economic activity to the region.”

Aidan Connolly, executive director of the Irish Arts Center said, “Irish Arts Center is proud to accept this transformative economic development grant from Governor Cuomo. The new Irish Arts Center will be a place for people of all backgrounds from all over the Empire State to come together in celebration of the excellence and dynamism of Irish arts and culture, and share our common heritage and humanity.”

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