Leo Varadkar visits Connected Hub in Ballinasloe as part of Making Remote Work campaign

26 Jul 2021  Emma Callaghan By Emma Callaghan

On Friday, 23rd July, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commision welcomed Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar to Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre, who are part of the ConnectedHubs.ie network.

On arrival the Tánaiste was met by Lyn Donnelly - Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre Manager, Gerry Finn - Chair of the board of the Western Development Commission and Tomás Ó Síocháin - CEO of the Western Dvelopment Commission who are delivering the Connected Hubs project.

The Tánaiste was visiting the Ballinasloe Hub as part of the ‘Making Remote Work’ campaign and to raise awareness of the advice and information available from Government to help workers and employers facilitate more remote and blended working.

Ballinasloe Enterprise Hub was yesterday awarded €63,405 under the Connected Hubs Call along with 116 other projects across the country.

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Tomás Ó Síocháin and Lyn Donnelly, Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre Manger welcome Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar

On arrival the Tánaiste was met by Lyn Donnelly, Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre Manger, Gerry Finn– Chair of the board of the Western Development Commission and Tomás Ó Síocháin CEO at Western Development Commission.

The group then spent time inside the hub meeting some of the successful companies working from and scaling their businesses including EG Quest LTD (Trading as thegiftshop.ie) an Irish, family-owned, business. The company started in the hub and are about to move out into their own office as they have 11 staff members, a great example of how a hub can help support a company in their early stages.

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Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar and Tomás Ó Síocháin

They also heard from the group behind ShopBallinasloe.ie, an online Community Marketplace connecting shoppers with local businesses around Ballinasloe and its hinterland.

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The once derelict building has been extensively renovated to offer high quality office, work, training and hotdesking space to start-up and existing businesses in the area, along with supporting numerous community groups. It allows people to work remotely, access training and advice, and network with other business leaders. The building currently has 29 enterprises directly employing over 180 people. Over the past 20 years over 500 jobs have been created in the centre.

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Pic. Michael Dillon/Dillon Photography

The Tánaiste then went to ‘turn the sod’ on a €1.6m Regional Enterprise Development funded Innovation Hub, supported by Enterprise Ireland in Galway City including the new home of The PorterShed, a project supported by the Western Development Commission’s Investment Fund.

The Bowling Green project is located in downtown Galway City Centre and will be the home to 130 globally ambitious tech innovators and entrepreneurs from across the west of Ireland.

This event was attended by WDC Staff members including Investment Manager Gillian Buckley.

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