Waterford receives €240,000 for remote working under the Connected Hubs Scheme

Waterford is one of 117 remote working projects to receive €8.8 Million in grants, announced on Thursday July 22nd by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD.

Waterford City and County Council, in partnership with Boxworks, WorkLabs, Waterford City Enterprise Centre, Dungarvan Enterprise Centre and Dunhill Ecopark have been awarded €240,890.

The funding will enable the five existing Waterford hubs and broadband connection points to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure. Grants will also fund measures to assist hubs to deal with COVID related challenges.

Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly expressed his delight on the announcement, “This investment is extremely important for small businesses in Waterford. Well before the effects of Covid on our working life we in County Waterford were blessed with some of the best ‘Connected Hubs’ in the country. Now as we look forward, remote working will be a permanent reality for many businesses, large and small. Investment like this will make Waterford more competitive and that’s good for everyone.”

Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, Richie Walsh explained how this successful result came into being, “When the opportunity of funding arose Brid Kirby of LEO Waterford and I met with Boxworks, WorkLabs, Waterford City Enterprise Centre, Dungarvan Enterprise Centre and Dunhill Ecopark in order to apply as a joint submission. This community effort where parties work together is a credit to the management of all five ‘Connected Hubs’ here in Waterford.

The investment will see significant upgrades to five hubs across Waterford in Dungarvan, Ballyphilip, Ballynaneashagh and two hubs in Waterford City. The proposed works within the five hubs include improved and more efficient remote working spaces, installation of privacy booths, energy savings and improvements. We can use these funds to make the constantly evolving workplace even more viable for business in Waterford.”

Announcing the successful projects in Carlow, Minister Humphreys said, “Our Rural Future recognises hubs as ideal locations for people to work remotely, as well as acting as key economic assets for towns and villages. The increased shift to remote working as a result of the pandemic has provided a golden opportunity for a greater regional distribution of jobs to support a better work life balance for many people. The investment announced today will provide an increased number of families and individuals with the option to live and work in our rural communities.  Remote working from hubs and Broadband Connection Points benefitting from this funding will also support local economies and assist in reducing our carbon emissions.”

With almost 400 remote working hubs already identified and mapped on connectedhubs.ie, this network will continue to grow and develop over the coming months and years and the government would urge all existing and new hubs to become members and take advantage of the ongoing supports which the Network will provide.

Full details of the 117 projects approved for funding by the Minister under the Connected Hubs Scheme are available on www.gov.ie. ConnectedHubs.ie is a part of the Our Rural Future initiative by the Department of Rural and Community Development. The project is being delivered by the Western Development Commission.