Waterford is one of 117 remote working projects to receive €8.8 Million in grants, announced on Thursday July 22nd by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD.
Waterford City and County Council, in partnership with Boxworks, WorkLabs, Waterford City Enterprise Centre, Dungarvan Enterprise Centre and Dunhill Ecopark have been awarded €240,890.
The funding will enable the five participating Waterford hubs to enhance and add capacity to their remote and co-working infrastructure. Grants will also fund measures to assist hubs to deal with COVID related challenges.
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly expressed his delight on the announcement, “This investment is extremely important for small businesses in Waterford. Well before the effects of Covid on our working life we in County Waterford were blessed with some of the best ‘Connected Hubs’ in the country. Now as we look forward, remote working will be a permanent reality for many businesses, large and small. Investment like this will make Waterford more competitive and that’s good for everyone.”
Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, Richie Walsh explained how this successful collaboration transpired, “When the opportunity of funding arose Brid Kirby of LEO Waterford and I met with a number of enterprise hubs and Boxworks, WorkLabs, Waterford City Enterprise Centre, Dungarvan Enterprise Centre and Dunhill Ecopark ended up being enthusiastic partners in this application. This kind of collaboration between state bodies, the enterprise sector and local communities is a model for future best practice with everybody working together for the greater common good of Waterford
The proposed works within the five hubs include improved and more efficient remote working spaces, installation of privacy booths, improved broadband infrastructure, energy savings and improvements. We can use these funds to make the constantly evolving workplace even more viable for business in Waterford.”
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. 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.”
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 the government would urge all existing and new hubs to become members and take advantage of the ongoing supports which the Network will provide.