On the site of a former family barbershop, Ronan Kelly established a new digital hub in Cootehill, Ireland.
“I worked for Pfizer. There was no need for me to be in Dublin, I’d rather be at home in Cavan. The property was derelict and family owned so I thought, when Covid came and everyone was working from home, I thought that remote working could be the future. You could get just as much done as if you were in the office. So, for us now, it’s trying to just not have to go back to Dublin and try and bring the advantages of Dublin to the local community.”Ronan Kelly, Founder
Through the Rural Development Plan, funding was made available to create the hub as part of ConnectedHubs.
“Connected Hubs is a network of digital hubs around Ireland, which is encouraging remote workers to stay and work in rural and local communities. It is part of Minister Humphreys Rural Development Plan. For me to put in this type of investment on its own, that would be would be very difficult. It’s a service to the community. People can stay locally, which can be of benefit to local businesses such as coffee shops, clothes shops etc.”Ronan Kelly
Additionally, Ronan wants to provide a venue for creative idea exchange.
“I’m hoping to create an environment where people can think outside the box, where people from different companies, working in the same area, could be having a coffee and, all of a sudden, you know, you solve problems in different ways. It’s more of an innovation idea. It’s not just pure office space.”Ronan Kelly
To cut the ribbon, minister Heather Humphreys was also present. She discussed the need to promote more remote employment in order to cut down on lengthy commutes and improve quality of life.
The Department of Rural Development introduced the Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme, which would provide remote workers three free vouchers at hubs around the nation, as a way to incentivize them to use the hubs.
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