PRIOR TO THE CONSTRUCTION of the One Shannon Hub, a temporary digital hub needs to be established within the town, elected representatives have argued.
In a motion before a recent sitting of the Shannon Municipal District, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) asked that the local authority “investigate the possibility of providing a digihub in Shannon Town Centre in the near future as there presently seems to be a great need for this service”.
Before the pandemic, a remote working hub operated in a building owned by Shannon Commercial Properties was in use and proved to be popular among remote workers in Shannon and surrounding areas. This facility has not reopened since the onset of COVID-19 and is not planned to come back into use as a remote working hub.
Anne Griffin, acting senior executive officer in the Shannon MD advised that the One Shannon Hub which is an integral part of the Shannon Town Masterplan “will incorporate the provision of a digital hub/multi-service centre. The proposal will include remote working facilities similar to those being provided in other locations through Clare County Council’s DigiClare initiative”.
A funding application will be made for the One Shannon Hub for the next round of the Urban Regeneration Development Fund. Even if this is successful, its delivery is not expected for a number of years.
“I had known there was one provided in the One Shannon Hub which might take some years to complete, there are quite a lot of vacant properties in Shannon Town Centre which could be rented to facilitate the people of Shannon,” Cllr Ryan responded. He added, “there are a quite a lot of people that require it, there are a couple of facilities in Shannon but they are not very private”.
Using a temporary facility can inform how best to make the One Shannon Hub a success, Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) believed. “it is something which would give us an idea of what is required in the hub. A lot of people are working from home now, they are scrunched up at the kitchen table and back issues are developing”.
Shannon is deserving of such a facility, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) maintained, “they are everywhere else, no reason why not Shannon”.
Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Michael Begley (IND) said the motion could be brought to the attention of the Council’s IT section but Cllr Ryan interjected, “I contacted them and they advised me to bring it up at Municipal District level”.