Two exciting projects have come to fruition in Dunmanway this year, bookending this community-minded town at the heart of West Cork. Whilst the Municipal Pool caters for leisure pursuits, Brookpark Community Enterprise Centre caters for the entrepreneurial endeavours that drive our region’s economy.
A hardworking managing committee clearly had ‘flexibility’ in mind with every decision made to create this innovative facility, comprising of three commercial units and a variety of office and conferencing suites. As he prepares to finally swing open the doors, Chairperson Peter Walsh gives Sheila Mullins a tour.
Beginning in the Enterprise Centre, Peter Walsh is quick to explain how installing 1GB broadband speed was a game changer for the viability of the project. “Fibre optic broadband has attracted the attention of companies limited by poor connectivity in their current location. A company is relocating to one of our three ‘closed-door’ suites because we are so accessible, geographically and now technologically.
“We also have a large hot-desking suite upstairs where companies large and small can take advantage of what we offer.”
The ground floor of the Enterprise Centre could be described as the ‘public area’ – as a community project, the idea was that the facilities be available for use by all of the community. A large conference room can be booked for a myriad of events, from public meetings to exhibitions to training days. The space can also be quickly subdivided to suit smaller events. There is also a very comfortable meeting room, ideal for business meetings or interview days.
Finally a spacious canteen allows users to relax (or network!) over a cup of coffee.
“We are always thinking ahead, looking at what businesses will require into the future,” says Peter. “One of our ideas is to install a demonstration kitchen here for food businesses, providing an attractive space in which to demonstrate to prospective buyers or to create videos for social media.”
The ultimate demonstration of future proofing can be seen next door in Brookpark’s three commercial units. Whilst suitable for any type of manufacturing industry, the units have been constructed with the particularly stringent requirements of the food sector in mind.
Each unit is 2,000 sq ft with a modern high-spec layout allowing for a full-height entry and exit point for delivery vehicles, a double height ceiling over the production area, offices and storage space. Beams are already in place to install a floor over the production area if required or two units can easily be combined to create a larger unit.
“We haven’t fitted out the units because they could suit such a variety of industries,” explains Peter. “But we have planned a number of ways to assist with these costs. In both sides of the centre we offer flexible terms and flexible leases that may not be otherwise available to small companies or start-ups.
“Our vision for the Enterprise Centre is that it will become a hub for business, a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to start a business or to expand an existing one. I encourage readers to get in touch to discuss your needs and to see how we can help your business to grow.”
Other benefits not already mentioned include ample external parking and a turning area for articulated vehicles, 4G coverage available on most mobile networks, an internal lift in the Enterprise Suites, and finally the backup support of the Brookpark Enterprise Centre Committee and the Local Enterprise Office. Contact Peter Walsh on 087 2676411 or the centre Manager on 086 4410484 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brookpark Community Enterprise Centre is a community-funded project, together with funding from Cork County Council and Enterprise Ireland.