The Governments Our Rural Future Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 has been warmly welcomed by Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley and Chief Executive of Cork County Council.
Aimed at improving opportunities and providing better quality of life for people in rural areas, this is one of the most ambitious and transformational rural policies for decades.
Commenting on the policy, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley emphasised that sustainability and community must remain at the heart of the plan,
“Thriving urban and rural economies are interdependent and reliant on healthy, inclusive communities. This new five-year rural development strategy ‘Our Rural Future’ recognises this and sets out to optimise on the unprecedented opportunities arising from COVID19. This strategy will be fundamental in building resilience and sustainability for County Cork and I particularly welcome several new exciting incentives such as supporting young people in rural Ireland. The establishment of a Rural Youth Assembly will provide an opportunity for the development of leadership skills in local communities together with expanding on the range of available apprenticeships. Investment in our rich Tourism, Culture and Heritage sectors will be vital, given the challenges experienced since the onset of the pandemic. Such activity will be key to restoring a prosperous economy and a county that will continue to attract investment, welcome visitors, and support its residents.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey also welcomed the policy highlighting how,
“The economic performance of Cork County is critical to our regional and national economies with the county contributing almost a fifth of national GDP. County Cork is unique too in the extent and diversity of its rural towns and villages, coastal communities and inhabited islands. Cork County Council has a proven track record in supporting our network of towns and villages and to promoting quality employment for people living in our rural areas. The Council’s recent Project ACT initiative rapidly responded to the challenges of Covid19 and continues to optimise opportunities to maximise outdoor space, support businesses and enable growth and sustainability in all areas of the county. Our rural Digital Hubs have met with great success with plans to roll them out across all eight Municipal Districts, while leveraging regional attributes such as the seafood and fisheries potential of West Cork and Food and Agri-tech potential of North and East. Recognising the value of our harbour asset and the unique diversity of the associated employment network, the Council continues to invest strongly in the development of Cork Harbour.”
Mayor Linehan Foley went on to say,
“Cork County Council welcomes this ambitious strategy from National Government in facilitating the regeneration of our rural areas and recognising their pivotal role in national recovery and growth. This is an incredibly positive approach which I know we can, and will, deliver upon.”