Seven hubs across Co. Clare have received funding to support their reopening in compliance with public health guidelines as the economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
The investment has been made by the Department of Rural and Community Development as part of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Enterprise Hub Network project.
€300,000 has been allocated to 65 digital hubs including Enterprise, R & D, Coworking, Scaling and Community hubs across the Atlantic Economic Corridor stretching from Donegal to Kerry. Funding has been provided to help the hubs implement social distancing guidelines, purchase necessary safety equipment, online meeting equipment and support marketing of the hub network.
In Co. Clare, support has been given to Kilrush Digital Hub, Kilkee Digital Hub, Killaloe Digital Hub, Feakle Hub, Ennistymon Digital Hub, Ennis Chamber Co-Work Hub and Malbay Hub. The Western Development Commission, alongside Jennifer Collins, the Atlantic Economic Corridor officer managed the delivery process on behalf of the Department.
Enterprise Hubs Programme Manager at The Western Development Commission, Stephen Carolan, said: “This support will assist the hubs in Co. Clare with their reopening plans during Covid 19. These hubs are a crucial asset for supporting those who want to continue to work remotely outside of their home setting. The hubs will play a critical role in rural and regional areas in the months and years ahead, allowing skilled workers to work close to where they live, driving sustainable economic activity and building communities.”
Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling commented “Digital hubs can be an enabler of rural, community and economic development in the county, in line with the Clare Rural Development Strategy and Clare Digital Strategy.
Urban McMahon, Head of Information Systems, Digital and Broadband with Clare County Council said; “It’s fair to say that Covid-19 accelerated plans that we had already been working, and it has also forced us to look at the changing requirements of remote workers. As a rural county with an abundance of fresh air, enviable amenities and space for social distancing, the county is uniquely positioned to attract people to relocate here for health and quality-of-life reasons.”
The Atlantic Economic Corridor Hub Network Project will soon launch an online booking system for all digital hubs in the region alongside a new marketing campaign to help drive awareness and increase use across County Clare.