Digiwest is focused on following locations; Roscommon (Tulsk), Donegal (Ballybofey-Stranorlar – The Base), Mayo (Swinford – The Courthouse) and Sligo (Tubercurry – An Chroí). The Western Development Commission (WDC), in association with Roscommon, Donegal, Mayo and Sligo Local Authorities was awarded funding under the Department of Rural and Community Development Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) to establish these hubs.

The objective is to provide local workspace with high speed telecommunications capacity for the use of workers, entrepreneurs and local communities. There will also be social benefits with local community groups being able to access facilities and high-speed broadband. These Digital hubs will serve a triple purpose;

  • Remote e-working location
  • Enterprise space for small start-ups
  • High speed broadband capacity for local community use, including distance education.

High-speed broadband enables much office-based work to be conducted remote or away from the office. This coupled with increased journey times to work has led to a greater demand from staff to work remote from the office and closer to home for part of the working week. Companies are also employing remote working practices to retain key personnel. It is likely this trend will continue following the Covid pandemic.

 

The Building Block Sligo Interior
The Building Block Sligo Interior

Each workspace will contain a range of facilities including;

  • Entrepreneurial working environment
  • remote working desk spaces
  • separate small office spaces
  • collaboration and networking areas
  • meeting rooms
  • Skype pods/phone booths/video-conferencing booths
  • Café / kitchen facilities
  • Managed IT and telecoms, including unlimited use of high-speed broadband
  • Flexible terms, including a minimal notice period

These rural digital working hubs will form a Digiwest network and will be part of the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) network of hubs. A hub network strategy with a website and common online booking and payment system is being developed.

The Digiwest project is an excellent example of regional collaboration where four Local Authorities, working with the WDC and the Department of Rural and Community Development will be enabling and supporting communities to work in the digital economy.

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