The luck of Kells: Meath town is Ireland’s newest tech hub

22 May 2018667 Views

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

From left: Gary O’Meara, CEO, Meath Enterprise; Cllr Gerry O’Connor, Cathaoirleach, Meath Co Council; Minister Helen McEntee, TD; and Rebecca Meade, project cooordinator, Meath Enterprise. Image: Kells Tech Hub

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

New tech hub in Kells aims to drive sustainable job creation for north-east region.

Within reasonable reach of Dublin Airport and city, the Meath town of Kells is home to Ireland’s newest tech hub. The project is the result of 24 months of research, planning and development.

It is kind of fitting when you consider Kells’ rich history in being the home of one of Ireland’s oldest content projects, the Book of Kells.

‘The services and facilities being provided by the tech hub are not only state-of-the-art but are also a vital lifeline that will help nurture and develop start-ups during the crucial first six months in business’
– HELEN MCENTEE, TD

Kells Tech Hub aims to foster a culture of entrepreneurship and help SMEs and start-ups to grow and generate jobs in the region.

The hub had been funded through the Rural Economic Development Zone (REDZ) initiative in late 2015 and again in 2016 (€275,000 in total) and is located at the Kells Enterprise and Technology Centre.

Empowering start-ups and SMEs

The project was developed by Meath Enterprise and co-funded by Meath County Council to the tune of more than €120,000. The purpose of the hub is to provide premium-quality, high-tech, fully serviced workspaces and training facilities to start-ups and SMEs at affordable prices, with offices, co-working spaces, hotdesks and meeting rooms to help them to start, scale and go global.

The 2016 REDZ initiative is part of the Government’s programme for rural development.

Other initiatives recently introduced by the Government as part of this programme include: the new €10m Town and Village Renewal Scheme; the approval of almost €7.5m to support rural recreation infrastructure; the establishment of a national taskforce to identify practical measures that can be taken in the short term to improve broadband and mobile phone coverage in rural areas; and the establishment of two regional broadband action groups to prepare for the roll-out of broadband under the National Broadband Plan.

“This is a very unique project that seeks to support start-ups and SMEs to scale and go global by providing direct access to world-class entrepreneurship, training and development programmes, and facilitating collaboration across a full spectrum of national and international Government and State agencies, academic institutions and business leaders,” said Gary O’Meara, chief executive of Meath Enterprise and project director of Kells Tech Hub.

“Meath County Council is being proactive in its approach to supporting entrepreneurs, and the Kells Tech Hub [is] another step towards establishing Meath as Europe’s ‘business-ready region’.”

The Kells Tech Hub will seek to drive business momentum in the area in order to facilitate regional economic and enterprise development while ultimately supporting the development of long-term sustainable jobs in Kells and across the north-east.

The project was launched by the Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee, TD.

“The Kells Tech Hub is a highly innovative facility that will prove to be a sterling asset to SMEs as they begin on their business journeys,” she said.

“The services and facilities being provided by the tech hub are not only state-of-the-art but are also a vital lifeline that will help nurture and develop start-ups during the crucial first six months in business.”

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com