In efforts to create a ‘vibrant and sustainable rural Ireland’, Údarás na Gaeltachta has launched a new digital hub on Achill Island.
A new innovation and digital hub Gteic@Acaill will be officially opened on Achill Island today (12 July) to provide a space for remote workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The facility will house up to 40 desk spaces between co-working spaces and private offices in an open work area. It will also provide gigabit-enabled broadband, meeting and video conferencing facilities, phone booths and shared creative spaces.
The opportunities for staycations and relocations have been emphasised with the Gteic launch, as many may choose to spend their summer in Ireland rather than travelling abroad.
There are already two companies and a number of individuals operating from the Achill hub which represents a mixture of self-employed people and those working remotely.
The 305 sq m hub will form part of the Gteic Gaeltacht Digital Network, a network that will see 31 hubs spread throughout seven Gaelteacht areas in Ireland.
Five of these hubs will be within the Mayo Gaelteacht. The initiative was developed by Údarás na Gaeltachta with funding from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).
Gteic@Béal an Mhuirthead opened in 2018 in Mayo and has provided a base of remote working for existing businesses and start-ups.
The new facility in Achill was launched by Government chief whip and Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport Jack Chambers, TD, alongside Údarás na Gaeltachta chairperson Anna Ní Ghallachair.
In officially opening the facility, Chambers said: “I am delighted to be in Achill opening the Gteic hub today. The digital hub is a great facility for the area.
“It will provide opportunities for local businesses and entrepreneurs and encourage people to think about returning to the area or setting up a business here. This type of development is very timely with the new possibilities that have arisen for remote work.”
A central aspect of the Gteic network is that they are being developed and operated on a collaborative basis with the local community in these rural areas.
Gteic@Acaill will be operated by Comharchumann Forbartha Áitiúil Acla (the local community development organisation on Achill) on behalf of Údarás na Gaeltachta.
“Údarás na Gaeltachta are delighted to have developed this modern, innovative and attractive hub in our gteic network with the significant assistance of RRDF funding,” added Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta.
“Gteic@Acaill is the first new hub to open following the recent lockdowns and restrictions and part of a growing and vibrant network of high-speed broadband facilities we are developing in rural Gaeltacht areas which will stimulate job creation, assist remote working, encourage and enable the return of diaspóra na Gaeltachta, facilitate concept development and new business, and will also develop a community of hubs where the unique Gaeltacht culture drives creativity and innovation.”