The Government should make available € 5 million to support the development of Ireland’s first national network of remote working hubs.
The Connected Hubs Fund will expand existing hub facilities, providing additional heated desks, office space and meeting rooms for remote working.
The funding will be used to install electric car charge points, upgrade disability access and improve IT facilities located within hubs or broadband connection points. It will also help in making existing hubs more in line with social isolation guidelines.
The Fund will support the key objectives of Our Rural Future – the ambitious new five -year policy for rural Ireland.
The National Hub Network Working Group led by the Department of Rural and Community Development has identified more than 400 remote working hubs across the country.
Funding will be available for both the expansion and upgrading of existing facilities through works such as the installation of privacy booths, control and security systems, the conversion of existing open plan space into modular office, and providing enhanced audio visual, network and conferencing facilities. .
Work is underway to map and survey the services offered by these hubs. This data will support the development of online services to support hub managers, including a public-facing booking engine.
Minister Humphreys said: “In the past 12 months, so many of us have experienced the benefits of long -distance work – reduced travel, more time spent with your family, increased footprint in towns, a lower carbon footprint .
“As we emerge from this Pandemic, the Government is determined to make remote employment a permanent reality for thousands of people.
“That’s why Our Rural Future contains a series of promises from incentives for workers to the redevelopment of old buildings as digital hubs.
Minister for Community and Community Development Heather Humphreys, said: “The Connected Hubs Fund will make our existing hubs larger and more accessible and result in a better quality experience for to entrepreneurs, workers and students.
“Krucal, this fund is another clear example of how this Government welcomes remote work as we come out of this Pandemic.
“Hubs provide the perfect opportunity for people to embrace‘ blended working ’and by encouraging people to take a hot-desk or office space to their nearby hub, the local also benefits and economics.
“It is equally important however that we invest in our many existing hubs, public and private, and ensure that they are attractive, fully equipped, modern office spaces for people to work from. in the future.”
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