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Terenure Enterprise Centre: 40 Years in the Making

TEC logo
TEC logo updated for our 40th anniversary

Terenure Enterprise Centre (TEC) was established in 1984 by a group of civic-minded volunteers from the Terenure area who were concerned about the growing levels of unemployment in the area. TEC is located in a well-known Art Deco building at 17 Rathfarnham Road close to Terenure Village – a building which was constructed in 1938 and was home to the Classic Cinema for nearly forty years.

TEC has since evolved into a thriving social enterprise hub, supporting local businesses and communities. We provide a variety of workspaces, meeting rooms, events spaces, and business services for start-up and established businesses, remote workers and non-profit organisations. The income generated enables us to deliver a Digital and Social Programme, which supports older people to embrace the digital world, tackle isolation and take care of their well-being.

Community Beginnings

TEC originated from an appeal by Fr. Eltin Griffin O. Carm. (Prior of Terenure College), for local people to join forces and tackle growing unemployment in the area. This led to the organisation of a large public meeting attended by over 700 locals and the formation of a voluntary Steering Committee tasked with stimulating economic growth and employment in Terenure and the surrounding areas.

In the early years of TEC, the most significant action was the purchase of the former Classic Cinema at Rathfarnham Road in Terenure. This building was purchased in December 1984 with the intention of developing it into a Local Enterprise Centre.

Cinematic Nostalgia & Modern Innovation

The Classic Cinema opened its doors in 1938 with the musical “I’ll Take Romance”, one of the year’s most popular films, starring the famous opera singer and actress Grace Moore. Boasting luxurious amenities and cutting-edge technology, the Classic was an Art Deco marvel. To this day, the building has lost very little of its visual impact as a 1930s cinema. The exterior remains largely unaltered, making it easy to picture streams of cinemagoers queuing outside.

Fast forward to TEC's inception in 1985 – an entirely self-funded Community Enterprise Centre, one of the first in Ireland. Originally opening with 13 business incubator units, a further 15 units were added in 1987, when Terenure Enterprise Centre was officially opened with a grand inauguration on March 25th, with the presence of Ireland's President, Dr. Patrick Hillery.

Community is at the Heart of Everything We Do

Through utilising a social enterprise model, TEC launched the Active IT Society (AITS) in 2007, to promote IT learning and practice among older people. The Society is an independent voluntary committee of its members and is supported by the TEC staff team. The Society aims to encourage older people to learn and be creative with the use of technology and to ensure that new and innovative ideas are brought forward in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere.

A Forty-Year Success Story

Since 1984, TEC has been the launchpad for over 500 start-ups and existing businesses, contributing to economic growth and the generation of employment opportunities in the local area. Many of these businesses having benefitted from the supports at TEC have moved on to become established SME's contributing to local and regional economies.

TEC’s success extends beyond business, with the substantial development of the Active IT Society (AITS), which currently has over 400 members. The Digital & Social Programme, delivered three times per year over 26 weeks, focuses on supporting older people to learn digital skills and helps to reduce social isolation by providing a range of hobbies, trips, and events.

Lasting Legacy

TEC’s original founding members, who responded to the call to tackle unemployment in the 1980s, have sown the seeds of success, showcasing unwavering commitment, energy, innovation, and drive since then. The purchase of the Classic Cinema and TEC’s evolution into a social enterprise have proven to be crucial actions that have stood the test of time, ensuring a legacy that continues to look towards the future. It has been an extremely rewarding journey over the last 40 years, and we look forward to the next forty.

Are you a business owner in search of a private office, coworking desk, or meeting space?

Or are you 55+ and looking to boost your digital skills experience or explore exciting social activities and trips?

Contact us on 01-490 3237 or email to find out more.

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