Republic of Ireland news

Plans to turn pubs into remote working hubs

Social distancing partitions at Paddy Cullens pub in Dublin. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

PUBS could used as remote working hubs through plans to reinvigorate rural Ireland.

Our Rural Future: Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 was announced by the Irish government yesterday.

It includes a proposal for a pilot scheme to turn rural pubs into remote working hubs.

There would also be public sector hubs in regional towns for civil servants to work closer to home.

The 158-page plan makes 150 commitments, to be delivered by various government departments, state agencies and local authorities over the next five years.

It covers areas including remote working, revitalising rural towns and villages, transport, health, tourism, culture and heritage, local services, community engagement, island and coastal communities and agriculture and the marine.

The report commits to "explore the potential to develop a pilot scheme to support the use of rural pubs as community spaces and hubs for local services".

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said this had been discussed with the Vintners' Federation of Ireland.

The concept is around what is in place in Britain - "the Hub in the Pub", she said.

"We are teasing out how, maybe, pubs can be used for different purposes during the day.

"It could be working spaces. It could be community spaces. It could be many different things and we can look at having high-speed broadband there. We have yet to explore it.

"As we emerge from Covid-19, the new policy is about maximising a recovery for all parts of the country and giving a better quality of life to people who live and work in rural areas.

"We have to look at solutions - towns, villages eyeing rural regeneration."

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