500 new jobs targeted by Ireland’s first rural digital hub at Skibbereen in Cork
A new digital hub for Skibbereen in Cork is seeking to create 500 new jobs over the next five years, with an initial 75 or more jobs guaranteed in the start-up phase.
The refurbished Old Bakery building, which will be renamed Ludgate@Skibbereen, was made available for the initiative by local entrepreneur John Field and is due for completion in November 2015.
The Ludgate hub initiative is named after Skibbereen native Percy Ludgate, who lived less than 100 metres from the building. He took his place in the history of digital technology by designing the world’s first portable computer in 1907.
The 10,000 sq ft hub is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland. The move follows a similar development whereby Dogpatch Labs and Ulster Bank joined forces to create 8,000 sq ft of start-up space at the IFSC in Dublin.
“The hub will act as a catalyst for local economic development by initially housing up to 75 digital, technology and science innovators,” Leonard Donnelly of the Ludgate hub steering group and former chairman of Dublin Digital Hub Development Agency explained.
“Our formula at its simplest is a fusion of global business experience with first-generation entrepreneurs and scientists. Our bottom-up plan for the area is a new bandwidth-based bridge where we can now link arms to promote Skibbereen with government agencies, form partnerships with other digital co-ops and, most importantly, involve all our families working abroad and away from home, to shape their future in the place they all call home in west Cork.”
The Ludgate hub was pioneered by a group of entrepreneurs, digital ambassadors and local business owners, who were brought together by west Cork resident and Glen Dimplex CEO Seán O’Driscoll.