Ireland’s remote working hubs network could benefit Scotland

A new project will look at the feasibility of replicating the Irish model of remote working hubs in Scotland

Researchers at SRUC have been awarded nearly £12,500 to investigate the impact of remote working hubs on rural areas.

The project, which is being funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Royal Irish Academy, will look at the development of more than 300 remote working hubs in rural Ireland over the past decade and explore the scope for a similar model in Scotland.

Various studies have shown that the national ConnectedHubs network in Ireland has had a positive impact on rural communities and offers opportunities for future economic development.

While Scotland faces similar rural challenges to Ireland, no equivalent network exists here.

The project, led by Dr Ian Merrell and Anna Sellars, will explore how the Irish networks were established and who was involved in their development in order to identify best practice example hubs and network activities which could be replicated in Scotland.

It will also highlight outstanding research and information gaps – particularly with regards to evaluating longer-term impacts and future development opportunities for rural areas.

And it will establish potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of putting a remote hub network into practice in Scotland, considering economic, social, logistical and environmental factors.

An important aim of the project will be to identify ongoing research opportunities, combining Ireland’s strengths in enterprise and remote working with Scotland’s focus on the natural economy and net zero policies in rural areas.

Anna, Senior Consultant with SAC Consulting – part of SRUC, said: “While Scotland faces many similar rural challenges to Ireland – such as depopulation, maintaining rural services for a local community, challenges from tourism and shortage of affordable housing - no network of remote working spaces exists in Scotland, and professional work opportunities remain centralised in major cities.”

Ian, Research Fellow with the Rural Policy Centre at SRUC, added: “This project will explore what stakeholder engagement, at a local and national level, as well as policy and enterprise involvement, would be required to pilot a similar network in Scotland.”

Posted by SRUC on 12/02/2024

Tags: Economy, Funding and Grants
Categories: Research | Consulting and Commercial