There was a large crowd in attendance at the Mountmellick Development Association building on Tuesday the 30th of July as Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan cut the ribbon to open the Webmill which is a new 44 desk co-working digital hub in Mountmellick.
MDA board member Paddy Fitzpatrick opened proceedings welcoming the distinguished guest that had gathered for the opening and praising the hard work which has brought this innovative project to fruition.
MDA Chairman Paul Dempsey next took to the podium and praised the support of Laois County Council, the Business Support Unit, the Department of Arts, Heritage , Regional, Rural & Gaelteacht Affairs and the Department of Business, Innovation, Enterprise and Innovation for their support, advice and funding of the Webmill and Beale Centre Projects.
Speaking about the Webmill yesterday Mr. Dempsey said,
“I believe we are providing a very unique and people centred service here on the campus which presently includes a 170 place state of the art affordable Childcare Centre, a large family run restaurant, conferencing facilities, secretarial services and ample free parking … The Webmill … will compliment all of the above and can accommodate up to 45 additional staff bringing direct employment on campus to approximately 160 people”.
Mr Dempsey concluded his speech by praising the support of Bank of Ireland and the incredible job Garoon Construction has done in developing the premises.
Facilities Manager and Webmill Project Manager Paddy Buggy was next to speak outlining how the MDA facilities have evolved over the years to adapt to the changing needs of the workforce.
“The idea for this (the Webmill) came about … through a survey and analysis of the needs of both Mountmellick and the county in general, which has a high number of commuters (11,500) leaving the county each day.
… I believe that the Webmill will bring huge benefits to those who decide to work here rather than commute, through increased productivity, more me time and a better work / life balance …”
Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council Willie Aird said, “That this was a special day for Mountmellick” and that he was “taken aback by a project driven by a voluntary group that had had worked so hard to produce what we see today”.
CEO of Laois County Council John Mulholland also praised the new innovation hub describing it as a “renaissance of new industry” in Mountmellick.
Minister Flanagan welcomed the new facilities stating, “This expansion will ensure a better quality of life for Laois commuters” and assuring the support of the state for future projects like the Webmill.
L to R: Paul Dempsey (MDA Chairman) and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan present MDA Board Member Paddy Fitzpatrick with a gift to celebrate 30 years of service.
Minister Flanagan also made a surprise presentation to MDA Board Member Paddy Fitzpatrick who has volunteered with the MDA for over 30 years.
The opening of the Webmill marks the opening of the second publicly funded Digital Hub in Laois this year bringing the total number of Digital Hubs in the county to five. Similar units are open in Portlaoise, Portarlington, Mountrath (Bloom HQ) and privately owned Portlaoise Hub Vision 85 with a further Hub planned for Rathdowney.
The Webmill has several local businesses already renting desk spaces in the hub for further information on the facilities available check out www.webmill.ie or @webmill on Facebook. To book facilities please contact Paddy Buggy on 0578624525 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Mountmellick Development Association, Irishtown, Mountmellick, Co. Laois
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