A place to work, create, grow and take risks.
Two of the Fumbally Exchange residents, engineer Paul McGrail and architect/founder George Boyle are featured in an Irish Times Special Report on the Arthur Guinness Fund on September 8th 2011. They outline how Fumbally Exchange has given them a ‘convivial collaborative environment’ and how it gives individuals who are struggling in the downturn somewhere ‘a place to work, create, grow and take risks’. The atmosphere has been a confidence booster to both, given the sense of community and neighbourliness the concept fosters. “I was acutely aware of how quickly your skills atrophy and your confidence is eroded when you have no one to bounce ideas off,” George says. “It’s hard to get down, when there are so many people to lift you up” says Paul McGrail, a resident since January. “The facilities are fantastic for the rent we pay,” says Paul, who has set up another business, Build Eye Thermal Imaging, in conjunction with Alan Walshe, since he joined.
Fumbally has also expanded beyond its original remit “It’s turning into something I never expected it to be, a one stop shop for design services,” George Boyle says. The Exchange has had interest from people in other parts of Ireland, including Cork Limerick and Galway, looking to replicate what has been achieved with the concept. In this regard, the Guinness Fund Award will help bring the idea to other places in Ireland.
“We’ll need to help people find the right space, to join the dots” she says.
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