Town Taster events will allow people based in urban locations to experience what it’s like to live along the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

Grow Remote is planning a series of Town Taster online events to give urban-based remote workers a taste of what life would be like living and working in the West of Ireland.

Co-founder of Grow Remote Tracy Keogh revealed that Grow Remote now receives over 100 queries per week from people looking to make the move from cities to regional and rural locations.

“People already love visiting us here, we just need to reach out and show them they could live here just as easily”

“The requests vary from young tech workers in their 20s looking to make a move back to their hometown, couples priced out of the housing market and highly skilled workers across all sectors,” said Keogh. “Almost all of these queries are driven by the move to remote work since March and the opportunity many now have to work from anywhere across the country.

“Our recent research shows that those looking to make a move are searching for information on co-working spaces available, social groups that are on offer, local meet ups, outdoor activities and of course the big questions around housing, childcare and affordability. The events offer a practical insight into daily life from those who have made the move to work remotely in the west and locals who have grown up in the area.” 

A sea change in mindsets around remote working

The Grow Remote movement – which last year secured €500,000 from the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) – has also appointed a new general manager, Men’s Sheds founder John McEvoy, and has appointed a new board that includes Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of The Western Development Commission, Liz McCarthy, CEO Scale Ireland, and John Riordan, Director of Support at Shopify. The Town Taster sessions are being supported by The Western Development Commission who recently launched a new campaign called ‘More To Life’ encouraging more people to make the move west.

“There has been a sea-change in the mindset around remote work in recent months,” said Ó Síocháin.

“This has led many to the realisation that the West of Ireland offers both the opportunity to build a career and unparalleled work-life balance. Our Talent Tool, which will launch next month, will allow people to take the next step and register their interest in taking that job and making the move West.”

Grow Remote is a not-for-profit organisation, which started life as a WhatsApp group in 2018, and now has over 130 local chapters across Ireland and 10,000 members.

“We are really looking forward to rolling out these Town Tasters here in Clare next month, it will provide us as communities with a real opportunity to showcase, to anyone considering making a move to our rural or coastal communities, exactly how great our quality of life is here,” said County Clare Cllr Cillian Murphy.

“Clare Co Co has done a brilliant job of putting together the ‘DigiClare’ network of high spec hubs right across the county, we now have a responsibility to leverage this infrastructure so it delivers far more than simply just spaces to work from.

“If we, on the Loop Head Peninsula for example, want to really tap into the rural regeneration opportunity presented by remote work, we have to start marketing ourselves in a different way, primarily as a place to live in rather than just a place to visit. As a tourism destination we have all those tools available to us, we just need to aim them in a different direction, for a different purpose.

“People already love visiting us here, we just need to reach out and show them they could live here just as easily.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 14 September, 2020

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