Digital Hub to develop Windmill Site as firms continue to grow

2 Jan 2019

The Windmill Site at The Digital Hub. Image: Connor McKenna

Scaling up is the 2019 theme for start-ups based at Dublin’s digital quarter.

The Digital Hub is to reveal a masterplan for its 2.6-acre Windmill Site located on the northside of Thomas Street in Dublin 8.

The expansion comes after a year in which nine companies within the hub scaled their presence by taking on additional office space, while eight new companies moved into the campus.

‘2019 will mark a new chapter in the continued evolution of The Digital Hub’

The Digital Hub also introduced new initiatives such as an artist-in-residence programme and a series of public digital art exhibitions. The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish State agency that manages the hub.

The cluster now numbers more than 70 established businesses, employing almost 750 people as of January 2019.

“2019 will mark a new chapter in the continued evolution of The Digital Hub,” said CEO Fiach Mac Conghail. “We are very excited about the mix of companies we now have at The Digital Hub, and in particular the emergence of a cohort of companies from both the creative digital sector, including Gingerbread Animation and CB Media, and companies from the health-tech space, including PatientMpower and Neuromod.

“10pc of our cluster is now [made up of] health-tech companies and our ambition is to continue to grow this sub-cluster and to run a number of connected health events for the benefit of these companies throughout the year.

“At The Digital Hub, we remain determined and committed as ever to develop a diverse and creative digital technology quarter in Dublin 8 that will have a tangible positive social and economic impact on the historic Liberties area of Dublin city.”

Windmill Site plans

Mac Conghail said that the 2.6-acre Windmill Site incorporates the well-known landmark of St Patrick’s Tower and two of The Digital Hub’s flagship office spaces, the Digital Depot and the Grainstore.

Work on the masterplan for the Windmill Site will be conducted on a phased basis, with the initial focus on completing a cost-benefit analysis and feasibility study for the site. It is expected that the masterplan will be concluded by the end of 2019 and will likely comprise a mixed-use development including potential for a public space amenity.

In its outlook statement for the coming year, Mac Conghail also highlighted how The Digital Hub cluster continues to experience a growing demand from within its base of enterprise companies to support their need to scale while remaining in the hub.

The Digital Hub currently has more than 70,000 sq ft of usable office space located across nine buildings, with a current occupancy rate of about 85pc.

Among the new companies that moved to The Digital Hub during 2018 is Full Health Medical, a health-tech company that was established in 2011.

“This cluster of specialist companies helps to keep us informed and allows us to spark off one another,” said Dr Ann Shortt, medical director and co-founder of Full Health Medical.

“Our proximity to St James’s Hospital and the relationship that The Digital Hub has established with them is another factor that is highly likely to deliver value to our business into the future.”

Other companies of note to have moved to The Digital Hub in 2018 include Black Shamrock, a fast-growing games development company specialising in strategy and role-playing games for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC; a US e-procurement specialist firm, PunchOut2Go; and Ireland’s largest independent film distribution company, Eclipse Pictures.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years