Home News Council New Digital Hub to be developed at old Courthouse building in Borris-in-Ossory

New Digital Hub to be developed at old Courthouse building in Borris-in-Ossory

Laois County Council are in the process of adapting the former courthouse building and site in Borris-In-Ossory, to form a new digital hub.

An architect-led design team was appointed by the council in  2022, while renovation plans for the Courthouse were officially unveiled in March this year.

The proposed plans include renovating the Courthouse to a 21st century modern digital hub, with working space for 15-17 people.

Plans include a new multi-purpose community meeting room and a modern extension which has the potential to be used as a community enterprise, such as a coffee shop or tea room.

The development of a digital hub to accommodate people working in the public sector is directly in line with recent Government strategy to enable more public servants to work remotely, particularly in rural areas.

The courthouse building itself has a significant place in local history in Borris-In-Ossory and is part of the heritage of the area, having being originally constructed in 1835.

The announcement came at the meeting of Laois County Council earlier this week and was greeted with praise from Councillors across the spectrum.

“The renovated courthouse will be served by high-speed fibre broadband, and I am hopeful that it will also have a state-of-the-art meeting room which will be available to community groups and local clubs in the area,” Cllr Conor Bergin said.

“There has been a need for a new community centre in Borris-In-Ossory for years to support the many local clubs in the area.

“I have been working closely with Laois County Council on this project. As Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council in January 2022, I welcomed €212,332 which was secured for the renovation of Borris-In-Ossory Courthouse.

“The overall renovation cost is estimated to be in the region of over €2 million and the plan is that the Council will apply for further funding from the Department under the next round of the Rural Regeneration Development Fund, hopefully later this year for Phase 2 of the project.

“I am delighted however to confirm that the wheels are in motion and the Courthouse will finally be renovated after 20 years of being a derelict building.

“I believe that this project will have massive benefits and help revitalise the village in Borris-In-Ossory,” Cllr Bergin said.

Cllr James Kelly also welcomed the announcement and asked if even more Council facilities could be added to an already great development.

Cllr Kelly’s suggestions included a means of paying bills at the facility, such as car tax and local property tax.

Cllrs John King and Ollie Clooney also welcomed the news as a great boost for rural towns and villages, each expressing a hope to see similar projects be undertaken elsewhere in the county.

SEE ALSO – Laois County Councillors call for a civic reception for Abbeyleix – Ireland’s tidiest town