REMOTE working for those living in the county town has taken a major step forward with the opening of the Ennis Digital Hub. The state-of-the-art facility at the Quin Road Business Park was officially opened by Minister Heather Humphries at the end of last month and brings to ten the number of hubs operating under Clare County Council’s Digiclare initiative.
Among those welcoming the centre was Councillor Johnny Flynn who said the hub was a long-time goal for the county town.
“Six years ago, I tabled a notice of motion requesting a feasibility study be carried out on the development of a hub for Ennis,” he outlined. “I believe the facility will be critical in enabling people living in the area to enable employment. The Ennis hub is the tenth in the county, so the people of the county town have been waiting patiently as the rural centres were developed first. The potential of the hub is huge in enabling people to live in Ennis and to work remotely.”
When visiting Clare as part of the Our Rural Future roadshow, Minister Humphreys described the county council as being “ahead of the curve” in terms of supporting remote working. Councillor Flynn said he was particularly pleased with her reaction. “I was delighted to meet the minister when she came to Clare and it was great that she was so impressed with the quality of all of the hubs that are available in the county,” he said.
Located in the Quin Road Business Park, the Ennis Digital Hub comprises hotdesk facilities, meeting rooms, training rooms and business incubation units. The project has been funded by the local authority with additional funding support obtained through the government’s Connected Hubs programme
Digiclare is an initiative of Clare County Council as part of its Rural Development Strategy to support rural communities by providing flexible, affordable and local office facilities and high-speed broadband connectivity, primarily in rural locations.
The first three digital hubs were opened in March of 2018, while the opening of the hubs in Cross and Ennis this year took the number of facilities to ten.
The hubs use broadband and digital technology to promote rural development. The hubs are designed to support rural social enterprises and the wider community by facilitating remote working, as well as small-scale training and conferencing.