Set in the heart of Dun Laoghaire, the town’s much-loved former library occupies a prime position and finding it a fitting new role is a priority for the council. Innovate Communities worked with DLRCC to compile research on the implementation of a Social Innovation Centre/Hub which could benefit all of the community within this space.
Our experience in establishing the Social Innovation Hub in Ballymun has shown how these centres can act as a focal point, where local grassroots organisations can network and engage new audiences. Hubs provide an open facility where local challenges can be shared and trouble-shooted. New and non-traditional partnerships can be forged, helping local sustainable enterprise. Social innovation hubs offer space to community organisations and local service providers that would otherwise be inhibited by large costs for renting space.
Social innovation hubs can also act as a beacon of hope in challenging contexts and as catalysts for change and regeneration. Giving vacant or underused space a new lease of life can reinvigorate both built and social environment, improving security and community resilience.