THE EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, has described the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen as a ‘model of best practice’.
Commissioner Hogan was commenting following his first visit to Ludgate earlier this week prior to opening a two-day rural development conference in Cork city.
‘It’s a wonderful facility here in Skibbereen and the Ludgate Hub is a model of best practice of what we’re trying to do in rural Europe,’ said Commissioner Hogan. ‘I’m also really very anxious to see the details of how the collaborations between the local community and State agencies bought about this excellent facility which has brought high-speed broadband to Skibbereen.’
Mr Hogan toured the Ludgate Hub and met members of the board and he viewed a video about the work of the centre.
‘This is a very good example of a community initiative with the active collaboration of academia, business and community groups, with a high level of ambition to provide much-needed jobs in the local economy,’ said the EU Commissioner.
The roll-out of high speed rural broadband is, according to Commissioner Hogan, a priority for both him and the European Commission.
‘It is essential if we are going to provide citizens with the opportunity to fulfil their desire to live and work in rural areas and to provide opportunities for rural communities throughout Europe,’ he said.
‘This visit to the Ludgate Hub is a perfect illustration of how a group of forward thinking people can come together to foster local innovation and enterprise.’
Gráinne Dwyer, CEO of Ludgate, told Commissioner Hogan that they have already received expressions of interest from a company in Silicon Valley who are looking to relocate to Skibbereen,
When questioned about the European Commission ruling that Apple should repay €13bn in back taxes, Commissioner Hogan said the decision was based on the data provided.
‘It’s a State-aid case, not a taxation case, and there is no threat to Ireland’s 12.5% corporation tax and this decision has nothing to do with that, so I think we will just allow now the process to take its course.’