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Action Plan having a positive impact on rural Ireland – Minister Ring

Published: 26th November 2018

Increase in jobs, tourism, and investment being supported through delivery of the Action Plan for Rural Development

Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, today published the Third Progress Report on the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development.

The Action Plan contains a wide range of measures aimed at supporting the economic and social progress of rural Ireland, being delivered across Government, State agencies, and other bodies over the period 2017-2019.

The Third Progress Report provides an update on the status of actions due for delivery between January and June 2018, or which are being implemented on an ongoing basis over the course of the three year Action Plan. Of the 275 actions reported on, 266 have been completed or are substantially advanced. A number of case studies also feature in the report, to illustrate the positive impact the actions are having on rural communities.

Speaking today Minister Ring said: “The whole-of-Government coordinated approach of the Action Plan for Rural Development is reaping rewards and enhancing the quality of life in rural Ireland. Our concentrated efforts are contributing to increases in jobs, tourism numbers, and investment for the benefit of the people who live in rural areas.”

Some of the key impacts highlighted in the report include:

  • An increase of 146,400 in the numbers employed in regions outside of Dublin between Q1 2015 and Q2 2018. This surpasses the key objective of the Government to support the creation of 135,000 jobs outside the Dublin region between 2015 and 2020.
  • 24 projects approved for funding of €21.3 million under the 2018 Town and Village Renewal Scheme, bringing to over 670 the total number of projects support by this scheme since the second half of 2016.
  • The development of a new tourism brand for the Midland region, Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, launched by Fáilte Ireland, further boosting employment in local economies.
  • Launch of the strategy for the future development of National and Regional Greenways, backed by a fund of €53m for the years 2019 to 2021.

Minister Ring added: “The implementation of the measures in the Action Plan provides a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to supporting the development of our rural communities. The delivery of these actions will assist rural Ireland to realise its true potential and enable our rural communities to prosper. I am committed to ensuring the measures set out in the Action Plan are delivered in full and I look forward to continuing to working with my colleagues throughout Government to achieve this goal.

“The recently launched Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is a further demonstration of the Government’s commitment to rural Ireland and will provide investment of €1 billion to revitalise rural areas over the next ten years. On Friday I joined An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar in announcing the first group of successful applicants for the Fund. Further announcements in relation to successful applicants for the Fund will follow shortly. A further call for applications will take place in mid-2019.”

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