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Establishment of Digital Hub as an independent company will boost digital entrepreneurship and Dublin 8 regeneration

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Dublin, 16 January 2015

The Minister for Communications, Alex White, TD, today announced that The Digital Hub Development Agency (known as The Digital Hub) is to merge with Dublin City Council (DCC). The Digital Hub will be established as an independent company under DCC in order to retain the unique identity and branding that has been an important ingredient in its successful development of digital entrepreneurship in Ireland.

Minister White said the Digital Hub planned a significant expansion of office capacity through the development and refurbishment of the properties – many of which are derelict, protected structures – on its Dublin 8 campus. Minster White said: “This will support both job creation and regeneration of this historic area of Dublin. Work is already underway on the refurbishment of a derelict 19th century Grainstore building and the development of high quality student accommodation on The Digital Hub campus. This new office space will come on stream over the coming year, with completion of the student accommodation in 2016.”

New and growing digital enterprises will benefit from The Digital Hub’s expanded capacity for accommodation and support facilities, which will contribute to the urban redevelopment potential the Dublin 8 area. Minister White said: “The new arrangement will enable The Digital Hub to continue to build and reinforce Dublin and Ireland’s reputation as a centre for digital excellence. It will foster a supportive and dynamic business environment where new digital enterprises can thrive and contribute to Ireland’s jobs recovery.”

The Digital Hub Development Agency manages The Digital Hub project, which is home to 90 digital enterprises, from start-ups to well-established businesses, which employs almost a thousand people. Since its inception almost 200 companies have progressed through the Hub including now well established names like Daft.ie, Havok, Houghton Miflin (Riverdeep), Amazon, PopCap, and Gala Games.

Gerry Macken, Chief Executive of The Digital Hub Development Agency said: “We very much welcome today’s formal announcement in supporting The Digital Hub Development Agency’s transition to become part of Dublin City Council (DCC). At The Digital Hub, we are already working closely with DCC on the management and development of property, local urban regeneration and the city’s reputation as a world-class centre for the high-tech industry.

“The transition to DCC will strengthen existing relationships further and will accelerate the many benefits that can be expected from such a move. This latest development will ensure the continued growth of a vibrant digital enterprise community in Dublin’s historic Liberties Quarter and to the creation of much needed high-value jobs in the city.”

Dublin City Council’s Chief Executive, Owen Keegan – who is a Board member of The Digital Hub also welcomed today’s announcement. He commented that the role of Digital Hub is very closely aligned with the new economic development and enterprise support role of the City Council. The expertise and skills that have been built up over the years within The Digital Hub will assist DCC in its efforts to make Dublin a leading digital city. In addition, the urban regeneration activities of the Digital Hub will complement the City Council’s on-going efforts to regenerate this area of the city.

The Minister highlighted the opportunity that the merger presents for both DCC and The Digital Hub to exploit synergies that span enterprise growth, property management and development, urban regeneration and community initiatives. In preparing for its transition, the Board of The Digital Hub has agreed a new strategy and funding model which will allow the company to operate with a stronger focus on digital entrepreneurship and increase its attraction as a cluster location for knowledge, innovation and creativity, while putting the company firmly on a track towards self-sufficiency. As an independent company, it will maintain its commercial digital focus and be positioned to respond swiftly in a dynamic commercial property market.
ENDS

Notes to Editors

About The Digital Hub Development Agency

The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency which manages The Digital Hub project, an Irish government initiative aimed at creating an international centre of excellence for digital content and technology enterprises. It is located in Dublin’s south-west inner city, and is home to 90 digital enterprises employing 980 people. The companies range from start-ups to well-established businesses that are significant employers and leaders in their fields. Since the project’s inception almost 200 companies have progressed through the Hub including some now well established names such as Daft.ie, Havok, Houghton Miflin (Riverdeep), Amazon, PopCap, Gala Games. The campus comprises a nine-acre site, of which over 50% has been developed. The remaining sites will be developed as part of the new strategy for the DHDA, working with Dublin City Council in particular. Further information is available at: http://www.thedigitalhub.com/.

Ireland’s Digital Economy

Growth in the digital economy is impressive and is forecast to accelerate. The digital economy in Ireland is driving sweeping change in work, education, recreation and family. Growing at around 20% per year, digital represents more than 5% of the Irish economy and supports almost 100,000 jobs. In a fully functioning digitally enabled economy, research suggests that for every job displaced by digital, 1.6 additional jobs will be created.

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