The Hive, Carrick-on-Shannon
Leitrim has been allocated a total of €30,000 to help the county's enterprise hubs to implement measures to reopen.
The investment will be made by the Department of Rural and Community Development through the Western Development Commission as part of the Atlantic Economic Corridor Enterprise Hub Network project. Funding of up to €5,000 will be provided in grant aid to successful applicants.
Announcing the funding on Monday, June 22, Sean Canney TD, Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development stressed the importance of helping people to return to work “in a safe environment”.
“With over 100 hubs along the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) region from Kerry to Donegal, the AEC Enterprise Hub Network can play an important role in the economic recovery of the region by supporting remote working, community enterprises and the development of ‘second sites’ in the region for businesses,” he said.
“However, many hubs face significant challenges in reopening under the current conditions. This investment... will support hubs to manage this process by helping them to adapt their premises to comply with public health and social distancing guidelines.
“In addition, the provision of other supports by the Western Development Commission, such as the development of a shared on-line booking system for workers wishing to use the hubs, will further help the hubs to safely manage the services they provide as the country moves through the Roadmap for Reopening Society and the Economy.
Warmly welcoming the funding, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim Council, Cllr Enda McGloin said “It will help to re-energise our local economy through the enterprise hubs in The Hive Carrick-on-Shannon, Drumshanbo, Ballinamore, Mohill, Drumkeerin and Manorhamilton.
“These hubs offer a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our local communities and facilitate remote working which will allow Leitrim people to remain working in their community and contribute to the local economy”
Leitrim County Council’s Head of Enterprise, Joe Lowe added: “We are delighted to deliver this support for enterprise hubs in Leitrim, helping them to re-open and operate safely and to capitalise on the demand for remote office space in towns and villages throughout the county that has grown as a response to Covid-19.”
CEO of The Western Development Commission, Tomás Ó Síocháin, welcomed the funding noting “This support will allow the hubs to reopen and provide facilities for workers to work remotely in fully equipped office settings.
“WDC research, carried out in conjunction with NUIG, has identified immediate challenges to working from home, and the AEC enterprise hubs can help address those challenges.
“The hubs can play a critical role in rural and regional areas, allowing skilled workers to work close to where they live, driving sustainable economic activity and building communities.”
Hub managers along the AEC region will be invited to join a webinar on Tuesday, June 30 - ‘A Practical Guide to Reopening your hub.’ Attendees will learn how to prepare to re-open their hubs and plan to operate safely internally with staff and hub users.
The webinar will also look at potential funding supports available, including through the Atlantic Economic Corridor Hub Outreach scheme, Enterprise Ireland supports and others.
Any hub owner or manager looking to apply for the support should contact Áine Carr, Leitrim AEC Officer, email firstname.lastname@example.org