Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (July 22nd, 2021) announced over €8.8 million in funding under the Connected Hubs Scheme – a key deliverable of Our Rural Future. The funding will enable existing hubs and broadband connection points to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure in every region across Ireland.
Grants will also fund measures to assist hubs to deal with COVID related challenges. The funding will benefit 117 projects and will support a wide range of relevant works nationwide, including the expansion of existing hubs, installation of privacy booths, access control and security systems, the conversion of existing open plan space to modular offices, and provision of enhanced audio visual, networking and conferencing facilities.
This investment will support the ongoing development of the recently launched National Hub Network - connectedhubs.ie - which already has more than 100 hubs using the platform and 380 hubs mapped. The supports delivered through this network will help build on the fantastic asset Ireland already has in its connected working ecosystem.
Included in the funding announced by the Minister is:
Announcing the successful projects in Carlow today, Minister Humphreys said “Our Rural Future recognises hubs as ideal locations for people to work remotely, as well as acting as key economic assets for towns and villages. The increased shift to remote working as a result of the pandemic has provided a golden opportunity for a greater regional distribution of jobs to support a better work life balance for many people."
“This opportunity is reflected in Our Rural Future and in policy initiatives across the whole of Government, such as Making Remote Work, the National Remote Working strategy. The investment announced today will provide an increased number of families and individuals with the option to live and work in our rural communities. Remote working from hubs and Broadband Connection Points benefitting from this funding will also support local economies and assist in reducing our carbon emissions.”
Examples of successful projects include:
Minister Humphreys concluded “I am particularly delighted that the projects approved today will support the ongoing development of the National Hub Network which I recently launched. With almost 400 remote working hubs already identified and mapped on connectedhubs.ie, this network will continue to grow and develop over the coming months and years and I would urge all existing and new hubs to become members and take advantage of the ongoing supports which the Network will provide.”
Full details of the 117 projects approved for funding by the Minister under the Connected Hubs Scheme are available on: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/64df6-connected-hubs-fund/
ConnectedHubs.ie is a part of the Our Rural Future initiative by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The project is being delivered by the Western Development Commission.