The plan was launched at Croke Park by Minister Heather Humphreys, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tanáiste Leo Varadaker and Minister Eamon Ryan | PICTURE: MerrionStreet.ie
A NEWLY-launched government plan which aims to rejuvenate towns and villages in Limerick and across the country could see disused buildings such as pubs, banks and theatres being converted into remote working hubs.
The five-year plan – Our Rural Future: Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 – was launched at Croke Park just before Easter.
It includes proposals for possible incentives to attract remote workers to rural areas and to revitalise town and village centres.
“We are going to develop specific public sector hubs in regional towns to enable public servants work in their own local areas,” said Minister Heather Humphreys at the launch.
“Remote working is going to be a game-changer. The pandemic has shown us that it can work. For the past year, it has been an everyday reality for tens of thousands of people all over the country. The benefits are huge. There are reduced commuting times and reductions to our carbon footprint,” she added.
Happen Workspaces Network and Innovate Limerick have welcomed the launch of the new plan.
“The launch of Our Rural Future shows how both urban and rural communities can work together to complement each other and grow. The Happen Network has identified these synergies and created a solution for businesses of all sizes to allow them to locate teams throughout the Mid-West.
“Reduced commute times, cost of living and house prices as well as an excellent quality of life are just some of the benefits the Mid-West has to offer,” said Mike Cantwell, Head of Innovate Limerick and LEO Limerick.
Maurice O’Connell of Abbeyfeale Community Council says he believes the town could be a major beneficiary of the plan.
“Looking at the Bank of Ireland building which is due to close in September, there are huge opportunities for this building with the right investor.
“Definitely, we could look at tapping in to some of the funding that’s coming down from the government. We already have an older bank building further up main street where an e-hub is currently being fitted out at that location,” he told Virgin Media News.