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New voucher scheme to help remote workers connect with their local hubs

8 Jun 2022

There are now 242 digital hubs available to remote workers in the Connected Hubs network. The Government has pumped up to €100m into remote working to date.

As part of its continued investment in remote working, the Government has today (8 June) announced a series of new measures and incentives for remote workers.

Last March, the Government opted to make remote working a focus for its future rural development plans. Since then, it has invested in the Connected Hubs network, a national network of remote work hubs.

Connected Hubs went live in May 2021. As part of today’s measures, the Government is introducing a voucher scheme to give remote workers free access to their local digital hub.

At least 10,000 hot desk spaces will be provided under the voucher scheme which will serve existing hub users as well as those accessing hub facilities for the first time.

The scheme will initially provide three days of hub use per person between now and the end of August. It follows the introduction of an app earlier this year, which allows people book remote working facilities.

Connected Hubs is also set to get €5m in funding, which will be used to build capacity and enhance existing hub facilities. The funding is being provided through the Connected Hubs 2022 funding call, the results of which were announced today. Some 81 projects across the country were successful in securing funding.

The Government revealed that the number of hubs on the Connected Hubs network has now reached 242. It had promised 400 hubs as part of its five-year rural development policy, Our Rural Future.

Speaking at the Creative Spark Digital Hub in Dundalk, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said she was serious about “ensuring we don’t simply revert to the ‘old normal’ – the way of life we had before Covid-19”.

“When I meet remote workers across the country, they tell me all about the benefits of spending a few days each week working from a digital hub in their local community,” she said. She added that people have mentioned that the benefits of remote working include less commuting time and more time to spend at leisure activities.

Humphreys also today announced the provision of €50,000 in funding to each local authority under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. The funding will enable local authorities to fund marketing campaigns and promote the remote working opportunities available in their areas.

Humphreys said that the vouchers for registered hub users will be applied in the coming weeks. She urged “potential new hub users and those thinking of a working staycation to set up a ConnectedHubs.ie profile”.

To date, Humphreys’ department has invested some €100m in the development of remote working facilities under programmes such as the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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