A recent poll carried about by the Western Development Commission revealed some of the most attractive destinations that people who are currently remote working are looking to relocate to – and Galway was right at the very top of the list.
According to the National Remote Working Survey with the National University of Ireland Galway and the Whitaker Institute, a significant percentage of those who took part in the study said that Galway was their number one destination to live and work in Ireland, and that goes to show just how big the appetite is for people to make the move they’ve been wanting to for some time.
Whether it is the pent-up urge to make a change, the desire to move towards the Wild Atlantic Way, or the need to simply make the most of the remote working trend, workers are upping sticks. And Galway made up the destination of choice for 10.1 percent of the people in the study.
In a way, that’s unsurprising because the City of Tribes has so much to offer, and it seems that the remote working/hybrid boom has really accelerated the number of people relocating to the west, and it has catalysed growth in these areas.
What’s more, it’s easy to see why that trend is going to continue.
One look at the recently announced Connected Hubs scheme underlines just how crucial remote and hybrid working will be to the economy. The government are backing the push by people to ditch the everyday commute – or at the very least make it shorter – by supporting the establishment and growth of hubs across the country.
Rural Ireland, in particular, is sure to feel the positive impact of hubs’ presence.
Because while the awareness around what these hubs are and how they can help workers remains a little shrouded in mystery, there are more than enough reasons to believe that people will come to see them as invaluable and irreplaceable in the very near future. And hubs in the West of Ireland are sure to experience an influx of new users if this poll is anything to go by.
With people looking to Galway more than any other county as somewhere to relocate to, hubs like the PorterShed, Galway Technology Centre, and the Gteics are sure to be in high demand.
Plus, the Connected Hubs voucher scheme, which will see 10,000 vouchers for free hot-desking time given out over the next few days, is also going to add to the interest in hubs.
After all, once the hub bug has bitten you, there is rarely any going back.
As PorterShed member Ross Kinsella explains, there is something special about a co-working space that just needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Ross joined the community in 2017, and has had an enjoyable time as one of our long-term members.
“I knew straight away that I had found my tribe,” Ross says.
“I was living in Dublin at the time, and while I was there I didn’t think there were any programmers in Galway – at least start-upy ones. And then the PorterShed came along and they had the likes of Joe Smyth hiring a bunch of techies. And all of a sudden, there was a place in my hometown where I could go and do what I want to do which is class because I was thinking ‘I need to go and live in Berlin or Dublin, or San Francisco’ or something, but no I can just walk 10 minutes from my mam’s house and be somewhere I think I should be. For me, the PorterShed is divided from whoever I’m working for, it’s just my place of work – it doesn’t matter who I’m working for, I’m going to be doing it from the PorterShed.”
As Ross’ testimonial underlines, hubs have the power to pull people from all over the country – and keep amazing talent on our shores – and that is something that shouldn’t be undervalued.
Now more than ever, people are looking to escape out west, start new adventures, begin afresh, and make up for time lost over the seemingly interminable pandemic. In Galway, and across the wider West region, there’s a home away from home that also offers jobs, the chance to discover a vibrant start-up community, and the idea that West just might be best, after all.
By Trevor Murray