Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has announced over €8.8 million in funding under the Connected Hubs Scheme.
The funding will enable existing hubs and broadband connection points to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure in every region across Ireland.
Furthermore, grants will also fund measures to assist hubs in dealing with COVID related challenges.
Connected Hubs Scheme
117 projects will benefit from the funding, which is available as part of the Our Rural Future initiative.
It 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,;
- The 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. It already has more than 100 hubs using the platform and 380 hubs mapped.
The supports delivered through this network will help build on the asset Ireland already has in its connected working ecosystem.
Included in the funding announced by the Minister is;
- €2.8m to develop remote working infrastructure in the Eastern and Midland region;
- €3m to develop remote working infrastructure in the North-West region;
- €3m to develop remote working infrastructure in the Southern region.
Announcing the successful projects in Carlow, 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.”
She said the investment 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,” she concluded.