Ludgate Hub Officially Launches

On Friday, 29th July, the Ludgate hub Skibbereen was officially opened by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD. The 1 Gigabit digital hub in Skibbereen, which originally served as the local cinema and then a bakery, has been transformed into a 10,000 sq. ft digital hub which is the first of its kind in a non-urban area in Ireland.

The Ludgate Hub is part of an initiative which aims to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the West Cork region and seeks to create 500 jobs in five years with an initial 75+ jobs in the start-up phase. The hub is now fully operational and has over 30 people signed up and working from the premises, due in large part to the “unparalleled broadband speed”. Vodafone Ireland is the telecoms partner to the project and SIRO, the ESB and Vodafone joint venture, is providing the 100% fibre-optic broadband network with 1 Gigabit connectivity. .Speaking at the launch Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “I’m delighted to be here in Skibbereen today to officially open the Ludgate Hub. One of my priorities as Minister is creating an environment where job growth can thrive, particularly in rural Ireland. I believe only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.”

As well as the creation of the digital hub, the Ludgate group has facilitated a number of initiatives to facilitate community wide engagement of the 1 Gigabit connection. One project is the development of ‘eStreet’ a collaborative platform to encourage over 11 local retailers to trade online. This platform supported by An Post will be the first of its kind in Ireland and will enable rural communities to trade on a global platform. The local Coderdojo group, which teaches people of all ages and tech abilities to code, have also found welcomed residence in the hub and have subsequently doubled the number of participants. To stimulate international and national scalable startups, a €300,000 seed fund was launched in May and the hub will now welcome the first teams of successful applicants to the fund in the coming few months.

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