network is underpinned by the presence of public transport and motorway infrastructure that connects the two cities on the west coast of Ireland. The proposed Network is much wider than just the transport link and captures parts of Counties Limerick, Clare and Galway. While the RSES process has identified the potential for collaboration actions, a commitment to deliver is required at a local level if opportunities are to be realised. In the South-East, the potential Waterford-Kilkenny- Carlow-DublinM9/Rail Network, along a key north-south axis, links the Waterford Metropolitan Area, Kilkenny City and Carlow Key Town with Dublin and the Eastern and Midlands Region. The M9 Motorway and rail network provides direct access from a large inland area to the Port of Waterford and Waterford Airport with potential opportunities for more sustainable freight movements to the Port. This potential network has strong synergies through the higher education and research institutions at Carlow College, IT Carlow, WIT, St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny and at Teagasc. This potential network will be further strengthened by the development of TUSE – the Technological University of the South-East, which will help drive development of a Learning Region and support enterprise and innovation in key industrial sectors. Networks also cross sub regional boundaries and Chapter 3 – Networks highlights the importance and potential of the Limerick – Waterford Network.
Chapter 3 identifies the importance of networks, with examples of settlements sharing assets and collaborating to drive economic growth. Established networks have shown that collaborative approaches can drive economic growth. Potential networks identified through the RSES process offer opportunities for collaboration on initiatives to deliver this growth. However, all networks require a commitment to be delivered at a local level if opportunities are to be realised. In the South West, the Kerry Hub and Knowledge Triangle (Tralee, Killarney and Killorglin) is an established network with the aim to drive economic growth and capitalise on connectivity to the Cork and Limerick-Shannon Metropolitan Areas and the AEC. Shared assets include existing third level education, a technology park, ports, an airport and world leading indigenous companies in fin-tech and agri-tech. Investment in the Hub is key to development of a knowledge cluster and service design and innovation hub at Killorglin, focusing on research and development innovation and product prototyping. In the Mid-West, the Galway-Ennis-Shannon-Limerick (GESL) Economic Network is a potential network to promote greater collaboration between the metropolitan areas of Galway, Limerick-Shannon and the Key Town of Ennis. This potential network offers opportunities for partnership to drive economic growth and innovation on a sub-regional basis. This will be particularly important for the sub-regional development of the AEC. The proposed
4.5 | Rural development
The Government’s Charter for Rural Ireland (2016) states that frameworks will be put in place: “To support enterprise creation and development, maintain and restore the rural cultural heritage, support and protect existing towns and settlements, facilitate safe and secure rural communities and foster an increased quality of life for all rural dwellers”.
Sustainable rural communities are dependent on viable and vibrant towns and villages. The RSES recognises the decline of the population and services in many villages and rural areas (see chapter 3) as a problem of strategic national and regional importance. In the absence of a targeted planning strategy and associated pro-active infrastructure and support actions, this decline will continue. Rural areas have different needs depending on their assets, remoteness and population density, requiring customised solutions. Rural areas need diversification and innovation to ensure economic resilience and job creation. This requires an integrated approach to rural economic development, including support for public services. Chapter 7 deals in more depth with issues in relation to the development of our Gaeltacht areas.
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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