The Hive in Carrick-on-Shannon
Leitrim has developed a number of enterprise hubs across the county that provide excellent facilities and infrastructure to users who are seeking an alternative to working from home while staying in their locality.
Enterprise hubs can offer short, medium and long-term solutions and flexibility to those seeking office space, hot-desks as well as meeting and training rooms.
They can help create vibrant spaces for those looking to develop business ideas or provide supports to assist fledgling enterprises but at a basic level they can simply provide a space for people to work.
Rebecca Farrell, Economic Regeneration Officer with Leitrim County Councils explains further “There can often be a misconception that enterprise hubs are for start-ups or businesses involved in the tech industry, but the fact is they can provide services to any number of businesses, individuals and the community. It is as simple as providing the infrastructure and facilities for residents or to those trying to relocate to the county and escape the daily commute with no set-up costs. Many of our hubs in Leitrim are run by communities and they can play a central role in the revitalization of our towns and villages.”
Flexibility is a key selling point for hubs with a range of options such as hot desks that can be rented on a daily basis or longer-term solutions such as dedicated office space.
Speaking about his experience as a hub user Niall Kiernan, Managing Director of Global Green, said “My business has been using a hub for the past 7 years. It gives me many of the benefits of working from home but with the professionalism that an office would offer. I have access to excellent facilities on a flexible basis in my locality and pre-Covid-19 I could enjoy the social elements of a shared office space. If you are thinking about using the facilities of a local hub it is worth having a chat with them to see what options they have available.”
Like many businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic hubs have suffered.
Enterprise hubs can provide solutions to the demand for remote working, but they are subject to the same restrictions as every other business and they have had to adapt their business over the last ten months.
A fund was established in 2020 in partnership with the Atlantic Economic Corridor and Leitrim County Council to provide support to enterprise hubs to respond to Covid-19. €33,000 was awarded across eight hubs in Leitrim and projects ranged from installing video conferencing suites to fitting out office space with protective screens.
While the hubs continue to operate on a very limited basis under current restrictions the recent upgrades and developments leave the hubs well placed to respond to the demand for remote working that is going to be a likely outcome of the pandemic.
Sarah Rooney, Manager of Manorhub in Manorhamilton said said “While we are currently operating under restrictions it is very encouraging to see support for maintaining remote working beyond the pandemic. We believe Manorhub, along with our fellow hubs throughout the county, can offer dynamic solutions to employers and remote workers. When fully operational we can offer daily, weekly and monthly rates for those looking for quality affordable office space close to home.”
Commenting on the future of Leitrim’s enterprise hubs Rebecca Farrell said “It is becoming obvious that remote working is likely to remain a part of everyday life for many into the future. The recent launch of the National Remote Work Strategy by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has copper-fastened this and in Leitrim we can provide county-wide solutions through our hubs to residents seeking a stable alternative or to individuals looking to locate here”.
Leitrim’s hubs are part of a wider collaborative programme, called the Atlantic Economic Corridor that focuses on economic and regional development for the west of Ireland. There is a range of hubs county wide including in Carrick-on-Shannon, Drumshanbo, Drumkeeran, Manorhamilton, Mohill and Ballinamore, with Kinlough soon to become available.
Anyone interested in finding out more on the options available in Leitrim can access an interactive map and list of hubs on https://www.atlantic
economiccorridor.ie/hubs-map/ or by contacting Rebecca on email@example.com