The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced that the Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme has gone live. At least 10,000 hot desk working days will be provided free of charge over the course of the Scheme, which is aimed at both existing hub users, as well as those accessing hub facilities for the first time.
It is intended that the scheme will run over two phases. Phase one will run from now until August 31st with the second phase starting in September and expected to run into early 2023. Initially, the first phase sees three vouchers been credited to the accounts of all registered ConnectedHubs.ie users, with each voucher redeemable for a day’s hot-desk working in participating hubs.
Anybody wishing to register for their free vouchers can do so online at www.connectedhubs.ie or via the ConnectedHubs mobile app.
Speaking today, Minister Humphreys said:
“I am delighted to announce that the Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme is now live. This scheme gives people an opportunity to try out our many remote working hubs across the country for free. This Voucher Scheme will help more people to realise the benefits of remote working and will provide an opportunity to ‘try before you buy. Whether you are fitting in some work while on holiday in Ireland or looking to relocate to rural Ireland, Connected Hubs has an option for you.”
Minister Humphreys continued:
“The census figures released last week show population growth in every county with some of the largest increases happening in rural counties like Longford and Leitrim. This bucks previous trends where we have seen some rural counties experience population decline. The fact is there are now more people living and working in rural Ireland than ever before. Through the implementation of Our Rural Future and the continued drive towards remote working, I want to ensure we continue these positive trends for the benefit of our rural communities. The Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme will allow people to try out their local hub for free and I believe many will see it is a much better option for them than working from the kitchen table or facing a long commute. They may also decide that the hubs in our wonderful regional towns and villages would make the option of relocating, or moving home, a viable one.”
Tomás Ó Síocháin, chief executive of the Western Development Commission welcomed the new national voucher scheme today:
“The focus over the last 18 months has been to build out the Connected Hubs network. Our team has been working closely with the Department of Rural and Community Development to onboard over 250 hubs onto the platform, to help them learn from each other on our bi-weekly online sessions and to upgrade the facilities available through the Connected Hubs fund. With the launch of the first national marketing campaign, the launch of the Connected Hubs App and today, the launch of the National Connected Hubs Voucher Scheme, we are turning our attention to existing and new hub users across the country. Recent reports, including our National Remote Working Survey with NUIG highlight the importance of remote work in supporting balanced regional development and initiatives like the Connected Hubs network can sustain these trends into the future.”
Tomás continued; “The voucher scheme launched today by Minister Humphreys targets remote workers, digital nomads, those working from home and working from the office. The scheme will allow them to work in a local hub, potentially cutting commute time, carbon emissions and giving them back valuable time. The scheme is also an opportunity for leaders across the country to encourage their staff to work from a hub and find out the benefits before committing further.”