What Remote Working Hubs can do for a Community

“This hub will be transformative for people of all ages”, Maura Tynan, Muckalee

Muckalee Community Shop, Café and Connected WiFi Hub is set to open before the end of this year and the state-of-the-art community facility will include four hot desks and provide all the necessary facilities for remote working.

Secretary, Maura Tynan, says the extension and refurbishment project has transformed the old community centre and is edging towards completion. It has taken much longer than they initially anticipated but that extra time has allowed the voluntary project team time to scope out various funding sources and tailor the services it includes to meet the evolving needs of the growing community that lies between the larger hubs of Castlecomer and Kilkenny city.

The Muckalee hub is one of several around the county developed with the support of various agencies. Other similar co-working environments are also available or at various stages of development in Balyouskill Community Centre, Glenmore Community Hall, Urlingford and Galmoy.

“This facility will be totally run by volunteers, many of whom are retirees and welcome the idea of volunteering as a social outlet and a fun way to meet up with neighbours and friends. The new hub will also provide an opportunity for those who do not currently partake in existing community activities to become more involved, be part of the community.

“We are forever thankful to Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, the Tomar Trust and Kilkenny County Council for the funding and the expert support and mentoring they provided and to the Community Centres Investment Fund.

“Muckalee is a growing rural hinterland. Many young people who left here to go to college and worked away are now coming back with their families. This centre is just across the road from the primary school and the creche and a five minute walk from the church.

“Muckalee currently has a population of around 700. But that is growing all of the time. We have about 200 children in the local primary school, up to 70 in the Creche. The new Community Shop, Café and Connected WiFi Hub will be a place for parents to meet, for older people to gather, for people to work on remote working days. We will have four hotdesks upstairs, a meeting room and a boardroom with a projector and presentation facilities.

“Everything we’ve done here so far has been demand-led. This project has taken longer than we anticipated but that time has given us the headspace to make sure this hub is tailored to the needs of the people around us.

“This hub will be transformative for people of all ages. We haven’t had a shop here for the past 25 years. We will start with simple offerings in our café, see where we go. Like everything so far, it will be demand-led. What is needed by the community will  be provided for the community.”