Realising our Rural Potential, the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development, was launched in Ballymahon, Co. Longford on the 23rd January last. The aim of the Action Plan is to progress the economic and social development of rural Ireland through a framework of supports at national and local level.
The Plan will act as an overarching structure for the co-ordination and implementation of initiatives right across Government which will benefit rural Ireland. The Plan contains over 270 actions to be delivered by a range of Government Departments, State agencies and other bodies across five thematic Pillars, as follows:
- Supporting Sustainable Communities,
- Supporting Enterprise and Employment,
- Maximising our Rural Tourism and Recreation Potential,
- Fostering Culture and Creativity, and
- Improving Rural Infrastructure and Connectivity.
Each of the Pillars contains a series of high-level priorities or objectives which will help to rejuvenate rural areas.
The actions in this Plan are only the start of an on-going process which will be built on continuously to unlock the potential of rural Ireland and improve the lives of people who live and work in rural communities. I intend to work closely with all my colleagues in Government in a co-ordinated way to effectively and efficiently deliver on the actions in this Plan.