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27/07/2021

€200,000 boost for five Laois remote working enterprise hubs

€200,000 boost for five Laois remote working enterprise hubs

Image by Moose Photos from Pexel

Almost €200,000 in grants has been announced for five remote working enterprise hubs in Laois.

The centres are in Portarlington, Portlaoise, Mountrath, Vicarstown and Barrowhouse.

Portarlington's PEC Innovation Hub has the biggest grant, of €67,500. It is for a project to extend the capacity and the sustainability of the hub, and implement a multi-functional technical space which involves a suite of laptops and headsets and a 70" interactive screen.

Portlaoise Enterprise Centre has been given €55,000 for an upgrade to lighting and existing windows, installation of LED external signage and energy efficiency measures.

In Mountrath, Bloom HQ has been awarded €25,426 to provide a space for a community education programme that will start at second level through a community grinds scheme and develop into a mentorship programme for third level.

Vicarstown Community Centre is awarded €34,470, to invest in additional remote working capacity for the region which includes Ballybrittas, Emo, Stradbally and Timahoe.

Shanganaghmore BCP Barrowhouse Community will receive €17,290 to buy office furniture and IT equipment including laptops, projector, screens, as well a coded door entry system. They also plan to develop a new webpage and create a booking tool.

Laois Offaly Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan welcomed the announcement made this Thursday morning, July 22.

“I am pleased that seven projects across Laois/Offaly have been approved funding under the Connected Hubs Scheme. Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been an increased shift to remote working, and this has provided an opportunity to support a better work life balance for many people. Almost 400 remote working hubs have been already identified and mapped on connectedhubs.ie.

“Families and communities are seeing the benefits of flexible and remote working and I am sure that the network of working hubs will continue to grow and develop over the coming months," he said.

"Under the Scheme, funding will benefit projects and will support a wide range of relevant works, including the expansion of existing hubs,  installation of privacy booths, access control and security systems, the conversion of existing open plan space to modular offices, and provision of enhanced audio visual, networking and conferencing facilities," Dep Flanagan said.

Another €290,000 has been given to Offaly enterprise projects.

Offaly County Council will get €212,282 to upgrade 10 facilities (one hub and 9 BCPS), these are located in Killavilla, Clonad, Kilclonfert, Cannakill, Ballycommon, Clonony Beg,Bellhill,Coolderry, Moneygall and Edenderry. This project will provide upgrades to hub facilities and an innovative IoT building management system.

Offaly Innovation and Design Centre will get €75,000 to improve the overall offering of the hub. Upgrade of existing room to include energy efficient upgrades. External LED signage. Installation of CCTV and access control system.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced over €8.8 million in funding to 117 projects nationwide under the Connected Hubs Scheme – a key deliverable of Our Rural Future.

The grants were given to hubs that are part of the recently launched Connected Hubs Scheme. ConnectedHubs.ie offers a suite of booking, hub management and e-commerce applications to members, sharing innovation, experience and best practices across the community. Membership is open to all existing and new remote working hubs.

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