Ludgate Hub opens in Skibbereen with connectivity to the fore

29 Jul 2016

Almost one year to the day since its original planning, Skibbereen has welcomed a new 1Gb digital facility called The Ludgate Hub.

With hopes of creating 500 jobs – 75 to begin with – The Ludgate Hub was officially opened today, with the 10,000sq ft facility offering business connectivity not found elsewhere in the region.

SIRO is providing 100pc fibre-optic broadband network with 1Gb connectivity and the organisers claim broadband speeds are triple that of “the market leading service in Dublin”.

Ludgate Hub

Seán O’Driscoll, group president at Glen Dimplex, was the man who brought various stakeholders together for the Ludgate project, which has backing from AIB and Vodafone.

“At its core, the rationale behind the Ludgate Hub is employment which will help to create a sustainable future for rural areas,” said O’Driscoll.

“The Ludgate Hub […] opens up enormous new opportunities for West Cork. This new digital age will make the impossible possible and consign geographic economical disadvantages to history and reinvigorate rural areas in its wake.”

Last August, the announcement was made that a refurbishment of the Old Bakery building would help house businesses seeking superior broadband opportunities.

The move followed a similar development whereby Dogpatch Labs and Ulster Bank joined forces to create 8,000 sq ft of start-up space in the IFSC in Dublin.

As well as the creation of the digital hub, the Ludgate group has facilitated a number of initiatives in the area, such as encouraging retailers to operate more online.

CoderDojo has set up a base in the hub, with €300,000 in seed funding available to others looking to get on board.

“The overarching aim of the initiative is the creation of a blueprint Gigabit town for other rural areas, once disadvantaged by geography, but now enabled by the rapid development of the digital world,” said Anne O’Leary, CEO of Vodafone Ireland and Ludgate Hub board member.

“Skibbereen has begun a transition, made possible by the arrival of 100pc fibre-optic broadband, and is leading the way for similar communities to become part of a Gigabit society in Ireland.”

Main fibre optic image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic