Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment
Enterprise Support Services
32. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment if a programme of financial assistance will be made available for the development of digital hubs in smaller towns to assist in job creation at local level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30590/20]
On 12 August 2020, I launched a new €12 million Enterprise Centre Fund, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, to help enterprise centres impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this Fund is to provide financial support to eligible enterprise centres who have been impacted by COVID-19 for the implementation of a 6 to 12-month Recovery Plan. This plan should have the objective of strengthening the underlying viability of these centres to enable them to continue to deliver value added supports to their client companies and digital workspaces.
These facilities provide affordable physical workspace for businesses across the country and deliver training and soft supports to their tenants and also other companies in their locality and regional area.
As such, these facilities are key infrastructures in the ecosystem for supporting entrepreneurship, start-ups and remote working.
To date, the Government has invested significantly in the development of remote working and co-working centres/ehubs in every region in Ireland through the three calls of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and the Border Enterprise Development Fund. The total funding committed to the full range of projects amounts to €117 million to support 79 projects in total.
Many of these projects will lead to additional co-working spaces in every region as they are progressed and completed. Based on Enterprise Ireland’s analysis, approximately 3,200 co-working/incubation spaces are being developed across 45 of the projects supported under Regional Enterprise Development Fund and Border Enterprise Development Fund.