Work is due to start on a new high-speed digital hub in Skibbereen in Cork, where it is hoped that 500 new jobs will be created over the next five years.
The 10,000 sq ft hub, which was officially launched today, is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland and offers a range of supports and services for businesses. It aims is to provide start-ups with the environment and mentoring support required to research and commercialise opportunities.
Dublin has a similar incubation centre called which caters specifically for digital-focused enterprises. It is currently closing in on 100 start-ups who employ just under 700 people.
The hub will be located at the refurbished Old Bakery building which will be renamed ‘The Ludgate Hub’. It was made available for the initiative by local entrepreneur John Field and is due for completion in November. An initial 75 jobs will be created in the hub’s start up phase.
The group operates as a non-profit company and has worked on a pro-bono basis over the last 12 months.
“The hub will act as a catalyst for local economic development by initially housing up to 75 digital, technology and science innovators,” said Leonard Donnelly, of the Ludgate@Skibbereen Steering Group and former Chairman of Dublin Digital Hub Development Agency.
Ludgate@Skibbereen was pioneered by a group of entrepreneurs, digital ambassadors and local business owners, which were brought together by West Cork resident and Glen Dimplex CEO, Seán O’Driscoll.
Communications Minister Alex White said: “Harnessing digital technology is critical to Ireland’s continued success. The Government’s National Broadband Plan has created the conditions for accelerated commercial investment in high-speed broadband services, which is enabling projects like Ludgate@Skibbereen.”
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