The Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC), a not-for-profit working space located in the Liberties area of Dublin, is embarking on a major €10 million expansion that will almost double capacity.
Planning permission for the redevelopment was lodged with Dublin City Council earlier this week with the GEC seeking to add two extra floors at the building on Taylor’s Lane, near the Guinness Storehouse. The centre, which has been home to countless start-ups since it opened in 2000, currently hosts 85 companies employing more than 400 people. Once completed, the expanded development will see the GEC becoming home to 160 start-ups with 750 employees. It will also have capacity for a further 220 co-working companies. Overall, the GEC estimates that 1,500 direct jobs will be created as a result of the redevelopment over the next five years, with the exchequer receiving a €75 million boost.
Subject to receiving planning approval, construction will begin on the redevelopment later this year and is expected to be completed before the end of 2020. “Building on our success to date this expansion enables us to deliver on our vision to scale the GEC to be a global entrepreneurial super-hub, interconnecting the regional centres in Ireland with our global university partners and thereby supporting the creation of world-leading companies out of Ireland,” said chairman David Varian.
“We look forward to the re-imagined GEC playing a catalytic role in the continued redevelopment of Dublin 8 and the promotion of Ireland as a place for entrepreneurial business growth,” he added. The GEC offers private, shared and co-working office space, meeting rooms and conference facilities to start-ups.
In addition to hosting many companies on a full-time basis, it has also partnered with more than 40 regional hubs to provide companies from outside Dublin with temporary desk space when in the capital. Among the companies to have availed of supports and initiatives provided by the GEC include Adaptive Mobile, Black Shamrock, Boulder Media, GirlCrew, OpenJaw Technologies, StatCounter, SwiftComply and Volograms.
Current and former clients have created more than 4,500 jobs in total since the centre was established by founders that include Diageo, Dublin BIC, Dublin City Council, Dublin City Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland and the Guinness Workers Enterprise Fund.