The Hive he Hive in Carrick-on-Shannon which provides hot desks, fast broadband and meeting rooms is to be expanded.
Leitrim County Council is in the latter stages of preparing a digital strategy for the county and the promotion of remote working in Leitrim will be part of this work.
This good news came following a motion by Cllr Enda McGloin seeking a county-wide audit to help identify suitable remote working hubs in Leitrim.
Cllr Enda McGloin made the proposal at the November council meeting noting that: “An audit of these would identify ‘black spots’ across the county for such facilities and a plan can then be developed through a feasibility study to identify where working hubs are required and need to be developed to ensure most communities can offer this service to people who can work locally without commuting to places like Dublin or other large cities.
“The recent budget identified this area for funding and Leitrim needs to respond positively with a plan,” he added.
Responding to the proposal, Director of Services Joseph Gilhooly said the council is “in the latter stages of preparing a Digital Strategy and the activation of the economy and opportunities for increasing jobs and remote working will form part of this strategy.
“In the meantime important steps are being taken to improve the options offered by the various enterprise centres/hubs in the county,” he said.
He noted the Leitrim Enterprise Fund will be tendering soon for the expansion of the HIVE in Carrick-on-Shannon.
Leitrim has also, as part of the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC), contributed to an Enterprise Hubs Strategy for the region.
This strategy includes an audit of Leitrim hubs, a classification of the hubs and a review of their development needs.
“Leitrim County Council’s Atlantic Economic Corridor Officer will focus on supporting the hubs development through collaborative marketing, the hubs outreach scheme (grant funding), investment in technology (online booking system) and developing the supports that the hubs offer to clients,” explained Mr Gilhooly.
He said remote working is a key opportunity to generate income for hubs and said a marketing campaign to promote hubs is already being planned.
The hubs which will be involved in this include:
- Kinlough Business Hub
- Drumkeerin Enterprise Centre
- Ballinamore Area Community Enterprise Units
- Ballinamore Enterprise Centre
- Drumshanbo Enterprise Centre
- Drumshanbo Food Hub
- Manor Hub
- Mohill Enterprise Centre
- The Hive Carrick-on Shannon
- Manorhamilton's W8 Centre
Leitrim County Council is also progressing the Broadband Connection Points initiative throughout the county and many of these centres will facilitate remote working, added Mr Gilhooly.
The council has also successfully secured Town and Village funding to help provide the necessary IT equipment and infrastructure for some of these facilities.
The locations to be supported are Aghanlish, Askill, Aughavas, Aughawillan, Drumeela, Gortletteragh, Killenummery and Killargue.
Town and Village money has recently assisted with investment in the Drumkeerin hub through the active work of the local voluntary group.
Separately, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has conducted a public consultation on remote working for both employers and employees.
Findings will be published soon.