LUDGATE – Ireland’s first rural digital hub – is now open for business in Skibbereen.
The state-of-the-art facility, located in the now revamped former Field’s bakery – is the brainchild of several prominent West Cork businesses people.
The Ludgate steering group, which includes Glen Dimplex chief Sean O’Driscoll, incoming RTE director general Dee Forbes, and Vodafone CEO Ann O’Leary to name a few, had a vision of bringing high speed broadband to West Cork and encouraging techie start-ups and established firms to consider locating here.
Now the dream is a reality, with Vodafone’s joint venture with ESB (‘Siro’) providing the 1000MB high speed connection to the hub.
The 24/7 facility boasts state-of-the-art conference rooms, hot desking facilities, and offers long and short term leases for small and medium sized businesses, in the middle of the town which is experiencing something of a business renaissance in recent months.
The hub is also pitching itself at holidaymakers who may need to keep in touch with work and want to rent a space for a day, or several days, to keep in touch with their office, with unrivalled fibre-optic connectivity.
The hub welcomed the first wave of co-working tenants in May.
‘The new arrivals have relocated from as far away as the US, South Africa, the UK and Dublin, choosing to relocate to Skibbereen not only for the state of the art co-working space but for the West Cork lifestyle, offering a more dynamic pace of life and plenty of outdoor pursuits, not to mention our world famous artisan food,’ said Ludgate’s project director Grainne Dwyer. ‘This vibrant and inspiring environment, with capacity for over 80 desks and two high-tech meeting rooms, a workshop and training space, has made Ludgate a magnet in attracting innovative start-ups from all over the world. For those working with international clients or last minute deadlines the Ludgate Hub is available to use 24 hours a day.’
Hot desks are available from €19 a day, and users have access to a shared kitchen, printing facilities and breakout areas. The fixed desk spaces come at €240 a month, while the meeting meeting rooms and workshops include a high tech Google Hangout meeting room, a video conferencing suite, and a training and workshop room equipped with interactive touch screens for presentations and collaboration. Each room can accommodate from 10-50 people.
‘The rapid transformation of the building and Skibbereen’s ability to attract and retain start-ups is testament to the Skibbereen and West Cork community, which has embraced and promoted the Ludgate Hub project, galvanising the concept and the reality that Skibbereen is the central hub of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, nationally and internationally,’ added Grainne.
The official opening takes place on July 29th. See ludgate.ie for more.