€8.8m State funding to boost remote working hubs’ capacity

Connected Hubs scheme provides grants ranging from €10,000 to €250,000

The funding is in addition to €5 million allocated in Budget 2021 for the establishment of a national network of more than 400 remote working hubs. Photograph: iStock

The funding is in addition to €5 million allocated in Budget 2021 for the establishment of a national network of more than 400 remote working hubs. Photograph: iStock

 

Some €8.8 million in State funding is to be provided for the Connected Hubs Scheme, to enable remote working hubs to expand.

The funding is in addition to €5 million allocated in Budget 2021 for the establishment of a national network of more than 400 remote working hubs.

The Connected Hubs scheme provides grants ranging from €10,000 to €250,000 for existing remote working hubs and Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) to add capacity to remote working infrastructure across the country.

The funding will benefit 117 projects and will support a wide range of 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.

“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, said Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphries.

“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,” she added.

The funding is intended to support the ongoing development of the recently launched National Hub Network, which already has more than 100 hubs using the platform. It is hoped to expand this to over 400 hubs, with some 360 having already been surveyed for possible inclusion.

The network provides share back-office services, and there will be a common booking platform for hub-users, meaning they are not restricted in terms of where they choose to be based. The network has been created as a response to the Covid crisis and the impact it has had on working patterns.