Carrick-on-Suir’s new Digital Hub for remote workers and small firms has begun searching for a building in the town to house its next phase offering work desks and office space for up to 50 people.
Aisling O’Connor, CEO of Stable Lane Digital Hub, said they are in talks with the owners of a number of buildings in Carrick-on-Suir in their search to find a suitable location for the Hub’s second phase.
The first phase of the Stable Lane Digital Hub is located on the top floor of Carrick-on-Suir Town Hall and opened its doors on October 1 last year.
Ms O’Connor said their aim is to develop the second hub in an old building in the heart of Carrick-on-Suir as it would assist with regeneration of the town centre.
Ms O’Connor stressed the roll-out of the hub’s second phase is dependent on securing grant aid and work is ongoing to secure this funding. Like Stable Lane Digital Hub, it will provide individual work stations with high speed internet access and offices for start up businesses, small firms and satellite branches of larger companies.
The creation of Stable Lane Digital Hub was spearheaded by Carrick-on-Suir Tourism & Economic Development Committee (COSTEDC) and is the first of 13 enterprise initiatives proposed in the Carrick-on-Suir Strategic Vision 2030 plan for the town’s economic development.
The hub has remained open through two Level 5 Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.
It boasts workstations for 16 workers spread over two spacious offices. Just half of that number of workspaces are currently available for use due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions.
The hub is home to a selection of microbusinesses, SMEs, entrepreneurs, and remote workers predominantly from the tech sector.
Ms O’Connor said the aim of Stable Lane Digital Hub is to allow start-up businesses to become successful without the stress of having the overheads of setting up in an office environment by themselves and also coaching them through the available supports that allows them to concentrate on creating a successful route to market.
She said before the pandemic, working remotely was often seen as an occasional practice for reducing work commutes and supporting work-life balance. Now there was a realisation that work traditionally regarded as needing to be office based, can be completed remotely in a professional office environment closer to home.
“Over the past year, more and more people have gravitated towards co-working solutions, that is renting office desks flexibly at affordable rates.
“Working from home is not ideal for everyone.
“Aside from the distractions of family life, some do not have the space or broadband facilities to create an adequate home office.
“Working in a digital hub is both affordable and flexible, with multiple desk rental options with no commitment,” she argued.
“Stable Lane Digital Hub offers high speed, quality broadband, which is a necessary requirement for remote working, and each client has their own spacious workstation, enabling them to work in a professional and safe office environment in Carrick town centre.”
“Co-working has proven to us that skilled workers don’t have to migrate to the cities for work; the work can come to them, Ms O'Connor added.
Stable Lane Digital Hub, meanwhile, will soon launch its E-Mentoring & Business Support Programme for entrepreneurs, start-ups and small companies working in the digital sector in south Tipperary, north Waterford and south Kilkenny.