Donegal County Council, Donegal Digital partner, organised a ceremony on Tuesday as the works at the ii inishowen innovation hub will commence shortly. The ii will incorporate renovation of the existing building namely the Buncrana Town Centre Council with a modern extension to provide space for over 60 people with first class facilities and support services.
Cllr Rena Donaghey, former Caothairleach of Donegal County Council, said: “I’m delighted to be here today to mark the progress that has been made on this hugely important development for Inishowen with construction works due to commence shortly." This digital innovation hub is a first for the Inishowen Peninsula. "It will provide state of the art space and facilities for servicing existing tech entrepreneurs, encourage new tech startups and attract remote workers within Inishowen which will create high valued jobs contributing to the economic development of the area”, she added.
The joint funding for this development has been provided by Enterprise Ireland and Donegal County Council with total investment of over €2million in the project, which will extend across Inishowen Peninsula and contribute towards the development of the region throughout Donegal and the Northwest. It is expected that the ii inishowen innovation will open in autumn 2022, in the meantime interim premises will be made available in Buncrana during the construction works for ii clients to avail of space.
Mr. John McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, who also participated in the ceremony to recognise the progress made, stated that, “this is an important strategic development for the Council and the Inishowen Peninsula which will contribute to the investment and economic development of the area for years to come. The ii will be a fantastic facility and provide excellent innovation support services to aid growth, encourage new startups and create highly skilled jobs for the area". Furthermore, an Innovation Manager, Kevin McShane, has been already recruited, who has already delivered a number of events and support services to benefit local entrepreneurs. As a result, a number of new tech startups have set up within Inishowen over the last year.
Mr. Colm Mc Colgan, ERNACT General Manager, also attended the ceremony and expressed thanks to the Caothairleach for the support and financial funding put forward to make this happen. According to him, "the development of the ii hub is testament to the vision of the Council". Other attendees were Mr. Tarla MacGabhann, MacGabhann Architects, who added that the opportunity to be involved with this project was a privilege, "to ensure the blend of the old Town Centre Council building with the new modern extension for the ii hub”. Finally, Mrs. Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO Inishowen Development Partnership and ii Oversight Advisory Board Member, stated that thanks to the collaboration with the various stakeholders of this project, "the ii will be a tremendous assist for Buncrana and the surrounding area”.