Digital Hub continues to operate

Last year the Government announced that the Digital Hub Development Authority is being wound down and its ‘campus’ redeveloped – but while those plans are being worked out, it’s still buzzing.

The Digital Hub is – still – a creative space located near Thomas Street in the heart of The Liberties, serving its tenants and community while planning for new use of the site is under way.  

The Digital Hub campus, source: The Digital Hub

The Hub is abuzz with a mishmash of innovative initiatives and activities. It acts as a space for company offices, and runs learning programmes for local people.  

The Digital Hub, as its spokesperson Melissa Meehan explained, has been around since 2003: “We are a state agency and were set up with a couple of different purposes in mind – one aim was to provide a space for tech and digital media companies to set up their offices.

“We’re almost like landlords, we rent out our office spaces to companies in tech, digital media, as well as creative industries,” said Meehan. The Hub includes a number of buildings and has many offices of different sizes.  

“We are passionate about working with the local community – this is a core value to us”

Melissa Meehan, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Digital Hub

“We try to be as flexible and supportive as possible, a lot of landlords around the city will try and lock you into a big contract for five years but we are more flexible than that,” Meehan said.

Learning programmes for locals are also still running. “We’re really passionate about that and it is a core value to us that the community doesn’t get left behind. We want to not only be a creative office space but also be a part of the community,” said Meehan.  

Source: The Digital Hub

One recent programme was called Screen 8, a filmmaking program for people aged 60 and above to learn how to make a short film.  

The group worked with a filmmaker who showed them how to use camera equipment, how to edit a short movie, coming up with a script and basic skills like how to shoot a movie using a digital camera.  

This program was run in partnership with the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival. “It was great to see the older people using their creativity, learning new skills and being challenged,” Meehan said. “The movie they made was brilliant.” 

The short film produced by the class premiered in The Lighthouse cinema in February.  

The Hub also works with music college BIMM Dublin on ‘Liber8 music’, where kids from local D8 schools attend classes every week to learn how to use a musical instrument. They can also learn about music production, vocal performance and editing audio.  

“This is about helping local kids to be creative, to be confident and learn new skills,” Meehan said. “Unfortunately, many schools in the area don’t have much funding, so they’re economically disadvantaged and may not have a music room or an art room.”

The Digital Hub is currently home to 33 companies, which combined employ just under 300 people. “This year has got off to a flying start we have probably more joining us in the first three months of this year than we had in total last year,” Meehan said.  

Recent start-up Pocket Forests has opened its Tree Hub at the Digital Hub campus, said to be Ireland’s first native tree nursery in a city centre location.  

The nursery acts as a distribution point for the planting of trees around Dublin 8. Other companies that are based in the Digital Hub space include Akara Robotics, Neuromod, PhotoIreland, Lonely Planet.

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