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The Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, Co. Cork is located on the periphery of the South West of Ireland. With a 1000MB connection the Ludgate Hub utilises the digital age for job creation and innovation.
The initiative aims to facilitate up to 75 people in a creative co-working environment; with a long term objective to facilitate the creation of 500 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs via a sustainable digital economy for Skibbereen and the wider West Cork area. As featured in the case study in the Action Plan for Jobs, South West (2015 – 2017) the Ludgate Hub is cited as an example of innovation occurring in rural Ireland and indeed a blue print for other rural areas. Skibbereen has also been selected as a pilot town for SIRO, and 1GB of connectivity is now rolled out to the Ludgate Hub and town of Skibbereen creating a 1GB community.
To date significant private investment has been committed to the construction of the Ludgate Hub, with a board of thirteen operating on a pro-bono basis. The board has vocally pushed for acceleration of Skibbereen and West Corks digitisation. Digitisation of rural Ireland is akin to the electrification of Ireland, the influence of the digital economy will be the driving force in balancing the rural economic environment. The Hub which was once a cinema from 1941-1981, then a bakery to the mid 00s was then left unoccupied. Board member John Field made the Bakery Building available for the initiative, the hub which is in the centre of Skibbereen town is now a beacon of innovation and has already started to encourage fringe enterprises as a spin off.
The Ludgate Board is determined to achieve all ambitious goals, ultimately resulting in a return of the diaspora, creating an ecosystem of creativity and innovation, and progressing the facilitation of job growth via digital technology. The long term vision is to make Skibbereen a hotspot for technology start-ups and multinationals to locate and prosper at a global level.

Creating a digital roadmap for Skibbereen & other rural areas

Stage I  (2016 – 2017)

  • The objective was to facilitate 75 digitally working entrepreneurs of which will create a wealth of new jobs in the West Cork area. Growth at these levels resulted in a generation €4 million per annum for the local economy.
  • Attract national & international start ups: Two private investors contributed €500,000 of a seed capital fund to entice new start-ups to locate in the hub, which to date over 40 applications of national and international companies have expressed interest.
  • Encouraged a '1GB digital community' enabling the community to harness the power and benefits of the 1GB connection, Vodafone Ireland have been instrumental encouraging the digitisation of Skibbereen.
  • Shared the learning outcomes of the initiative with other rural areas and became a blue print for rural regeneration at national and EU level.
  • Remained at the forefront of sustainability and innovation.

Stage II  (2017 -2020)

  • Facilitate the creation of over 500 direct jobs and 1000 indirect jobs in the West Cork area by 2020.
  • Become the leader in rural innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Develop Ludgate II
  • Assist in remote learning and educational outreach


PERCY LUDGATE (1883-1922)

Percy Ludgate, born 1883 was Skibbereen's computer pioneer. 'Ludgate' the name given to our community initiative pays tribute to Percy Ludgate's heritage and the location of our Digital Hub located on Townshend Street, a mere 100 metres from where Percy Ludgate was born.
Ludgate was highly respected nationally & internationally and was often invited to lecture at Universities and societies on the creation of early mathematical computing devices both in Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Ludgate completed the designs of an early mathematical mechanical device which was capable of multiplying 20 digital numbers in under 10 seconds. If completed the computing device would have been capable of solving algebraic and geometric equations. Ludgate never completed his pioneering computer, as in 1922 he died of pneumonia at the age of 39.
However, Percy Ludgate's legacy lives on, and his efforts toward modern day computing are recognised and remembered. 104 years ago, Percy Ludgate realised that technological development in computing would occur and have a profound impact on the future of society.

I would observe that of the very numerous branches of pure and applied science which are dependent for their development, record or application on the dominant science of mathematics. There is not one of which the progress would not be accelerated, and the pursuit would not be facilitated, by the complete command over the numerical interpretation of abstract numerical expressions, and the relief from the time-consuming drudgery of computation, which the scientist would secure through the existence of machinery capable of performing the most tedious and complex calculations with expedition, automatism and precision

- (Percy Ludgate, 1914)

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