The future of The Digital Hub looks more secure as the agency which runs the tech cluster has announced an agreement with the Government that should allow its operations to continue until 2030. An announcement in April 2021 suggested that the Hub would be wound down and its landholding and assets would transfer to the Land Development Agency (LDA), which proposes to develop the nearly 6-acre campus for housing and other uses.
The Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA), which operates the Digital Hub, now says it expects to continue operating for the foreseeable future, following an agreement was reached last November between the DHDA and the Government that would see the Digital Hub host tenant companies until at least 2025.
However, Digital Hub CEO Fiach Mac Conghail says that he anticipates “we will be operating as the Digital Hub until at least the end of this decade”.
“It is important that our lands are effectively used until such time as they are ready for affordable housing, and that is a view shared by all involved in the process. In particular, we want to avoid dereliction in our city and a meanwhile use for our land is for the benefit of the wider community,” he told SiliconRepublic.com.
The Digital Hub also announced that it welcomed a host of new and returning companies to its campus in the first six months of 2022. Mac Conghail noted that of the 19 companies, 11 are new tenants, six are companies that had left recently and have now returned, and two are longer-term alumni that have decided to return. This brings the number of member companies now resident at the Digital Hub to 46 and collectively they employ more than 300 people.
The increased takeup of space marks a sigificant turnaround for DHDA, which had warned the Government during the pandemic that it may need emergency supports as clients were struggling to pay rent during the pandemic. Now, many of those clients are getting back to workspaces in a hybrid fashion.
“The events of the past two years have signalled a fundamental shift in working practices, and the flexibility and collegiality of the Digital Hub campus is proving to be location of choice for both technology companies, creative industries and community organisations,” Mac Conghail said.
Mac Conghail confirmed that the Digital Hub has been collaborating with the LDA and the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications to better understand the timeframe for the campus’s eventual dissolution.
“We would hope that the legacy we have created in the Liberties since 2003 will continue in some form once there is a clearer picture on the masterplan for our lands. Our location is a prime example of what a 15-minute city concept could look like, and I look forward to what the future holds for the Liberties,” he told SiliconRepublic.com.
The Digital Hub also expect to press ahead with plans to refurbish the historic St Patrick’s Tower (Windmill) as an events space. The public space to the front of the Tower has been host to a monthly craft and flea market run by We LOVE Markets since March.
The Hub also recently welcomed creative collective Block T, who will be operating new new maker and small businesses spaces, and arts group Pallas Projects/Studios who combined will provide studio and workshop space for 40 artists and craftspeople, showing the increasingly diversification of businesses in Digital Hub.