Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, earlier this week launched the Connected Hubs app that you can book your desk space at your local hub. There are over 200 hubs to choose from with 12 of these hubs being located Donegal. As well as announcing new initiatives to support rural working like:
· National Awareness Campaign launched to promote the benefits of working from a Hub in your community
· €5 million Connected Hubs Fund to enhance Remote Working facilities
This announcement brings great opportunities to rural
communities and rural businesses as well as bringing people home to rural Donegal,
this can improve on people’s work/life balance as they can avoid sitting in
traffic before and after work. Download the app here.
The €5 million fund can be used to enhance facilities and existing spaces. A National Awareness Campaign, designed to promote the many benefits of choosing your local hub for your working day. The Awareness Campaign will be run by the Department of Rural and Community Development with the support of the Western Development Commission (WDC). It is proposed to have over 400 remote working hubs in Ireland by the end of 2025 with over 200 already available.
Minister Humphreys announced: If COVID-19 has taught us one thing – it’s that the benefits of Remote Working are huge. Less time spent commuting. A lower carbon footprint. More time spent with family and friends. But above all – a better quality of life. Over the past two years, we have embarked on a mission never seen before. My department has invested €100million in the development of remote working facilities in our towns and villages nationwide. Across Ireland, we have taken many old and derelict buildings and re-purposed them into state-of-the-art Remote Working facilities. Former banks, cinemas, garda stations, convents and train stations have become local digital hubs. In addition, we have provided funding to upgrade and enhance existing hub facilities. These are now part of a new network called ‘Connected Hubs’ – which is at the forefront of our efforts to make Remote Working a reality for tens of thousands of workers.
Minister Humphreys added: Today represents the next chapter in our Remote Working journey. And it also demonstrates how we are putting ‘Our Rural Future’ into action. I’m really pleased to launch the new Connected Hubs mobile app which will enable workers to book their desk space in their local hub with ease. The number of hubs available on the Connected Hubs network will this week surpass the 200 mark meaning we are already halfway to our target of 400 hubs nationwide as committed under Our Rural Future. Today I am also launching a new €5million Connected Hubs Fund which will aimed at upgrading and increasing capacity in our existing hub facilities. In addition, over the coming weeks and months, I will be announcing further funding for the development of new remote working facilities as part of Our Rural Future. So my message to remote workers today is clear: Whether you are in Donegal or Waterford, Louth or in Kerry, East Coast, Midlands or along the Border, we have a hub for you.
She concluded with: Thankfully we are now beginning to
return to normal life, but that does not mean we should go back to the old
normal – the days of the long commute, sitting in traffic when you could be
spending that time with your family and friends. Equally not everybody wants to
or has the space to work from home permanently. The kitchen table or your
bedroom is not a permanent solution. If you want a clear line of where
work-life ends and family-life begins – then working from your local hub is the
solution for you. Today, I am also specifically encouraging employers and
businesses to look at the facilities available through Connected Hubs when
developing their future plans for blended or hybrid working. These hubs can
enable your staff to work in a safe, secure environment with high-speed
broadband and all the necessary office equipment available to them. Over the
coming weeks, my Department will embark on a major awareness campaign to
highlight the benefits of Connected Hubs for both workers and employers.
Read more about fund opportunities.