Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has welcomed funding of over €144,000 from the Department of Rural and Community Development for the provision of five remote working hubs in the county. 

The funding will provide new modular workspaces and privacy pods along with closed circuit television monitoring, lighting for external hub area, solar panels, internal LED lighting, electrical vehicle charger and bicycle racks.

A further €50,000 will be made available to Clare County Council under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme to fund marketing campaigns and promote remote working opportunities around the county.

“As former Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development, I have been a long-time advocate of  remote working and the provision of connected hubs outside the major population centres,” Deputy Carey explained. 

“Even before the transformative experience of the Covid lockdowns, the benefits of remote working were obvious in terms of rural regeneration, environmental impact and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

“Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys has been providing a constant pipeline of funding into rural communities in Clare and investment of this scale in remote working is really good news.

“A significant feature of the latest round of funding is the fact that hot desk facilities will be provided free of charge to existing hub users and those using the facilities for the first time.

“This should appeal to those who have never worked from their local hub – now they can try it out for the first time for free. This scheme is based on the ‘voucher follows the person’ approach and will initially provide three days of hub use per person between now and the end of August.

“During her recent visit to Clare I raised the need for further investment in remote working initiatives with Minister Humphreys, so this morning’s announcement is proof that she is listening and responding where she can with funding like this.

“This investment will expand and upgrade the existing offering by providing increased capacity and improving the range of services available. The strategic location of the hubs throughout the county will provide a wide range of services for the wider community.

PHOTO: Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey with Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys.