500 jobs lined up for west Cork as Skibbereen digital hub unveiled
11 August 2015
Ireland’s newest digital hub is to be located in west Cork – and it is anticipated that it will lead to the creation of 500 jobs over five years. Known as Ludgate@Skibbereen, a not-for-profit initiative, it aims to “create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Skibbereen and west Cork region”, and is expected to attract 75 jobs in the first phase of its development and, ultimately, 500 roles. An estimated €34 million in GDP will be generated for the region over the next five years.
The hub is the first of its kind in a non-urban area and will be 10,000 sq ft in size. Vodafone Ireland will look after the telecoms part of the project while SIRO, the ESB-Vodafone joint venture which is delivering Ireland’s first 100 per cent fibre-optic broadband network to 50 regional towns nationwide, will provide 1GB connectivity to the Ludgate hub.
The initiative has been developed by a steering group consisting of entrepreneurs, digital ambassadors, and business owners and includes: Kevin Buckley, co-founder & CEO, Spearline Labs; Leonard Donnelly, technology entrepreneur; Oliver Farrell, co-founder and chairman, Vilicom; John Field, JJ Field & Co; Dee Forbes, president of Discovery Networks, Northern Europe; Lord David Puttnam, film producer and Ireland’s Digital Champion; Sean O’Driscoll, chairman & CEO, Glen Dimplex Group; Anne O’Leary, CEO Vodafone, Ireland; Adam Walsh, general manager at JJ Field & Co.
Ludgate@Skibbereen will also be the venue for the country’s first National Digital Week, which will take place from November 2-8. There will be an array of high-profile international and national speakers and a number of seminars and workshops will also be held.
Minister for Communications Alex White said that “harnessing digital technology is critical to Ireland’s continued success”. He said: “Ludgate at Skibbereen is an important initiative, which will be supported by my Department through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme.
“It will create 500 direct jobs over the next five years while providing a blueprint that will help other rural communities to become part of our fast-growing digital economy.
“The government’s National Broadband Plan has created the conditions for accelerated commercial investment in high-speed broadband services, which is enabling projects like Ludgate at Skibbereen.
“The next phase of the plan will see the government go to procurement later this year to ensure that every home, school and business has access to high-speed broadband, even if they are located in areas where commercial investment isn’t viable,” added Minister White.
Leonard Donnelly of the Ludgate at Skibbereen Steering Group said: “Our bottom up plan for the area is a new bandwidth based bridge where we can now link arms to promote Skibbereen with government agencies, form partnerships with other Digital Co Ops and most importantly involve all our families working abroad and away from home, to shape their future in the place they all call home in West Cork.”
The digital hub initiative is named after engineer Percy Ludgate, who was born in Skibbereen in 1883, and who is largely attributed with inventing the world’s first ‘portable’ computer. ‘Ludgate‘ the name given to the initiative pays tribute to Percy Ludgate’s heritage and the location of the digital hub will be located on Townshend Street a mere 100 metres from where he was born.
Ludgate was highly respected nationally and internationally and invited throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom to lecture universities and societies on the creation of early mathematical computing devices. Ludgate never completed his pioneering computer, as in 1922 he died of pneumonia at the age of 39.
Ludgate realised that technological development in computing would occur and have a profound impact on the future of society.
“I would observe that of the very numerous branches of pure and applied science which are dependent for their development, record or application on the dominant science of mathematics. There is not one of which the progress would not be accelerated, and the pursuit would not be facilitated, by the complete command over the numerical interpretation of abstract numerical expressions, and the relief from the time-consuming drudgery of computation, which the scientist would secure through the existence of machinery capable of performing the most tedious and complex calculations with expedition, automatism and precision.” (Percy Ludgate, 1914)http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/08/11/500-jobs-west-cork-digital-hub-unveiled/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/askib1.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/askib1-300x300.jpgNewsbroadband,Cork,digital,jobs