Southern Regional Assembly RSES LowRes

Action Plan for Rural Development

RPO 45

The Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development, Realising Our Rural Potential, provides the framework for a co-ordinated approach across government for the economic and social development of rural communities. The Action Plan is delivered by a range of government departments, state agencies and other bodies, and includes over 270 specific actions to be delivered. Innovative Rural Communities In 2017, there were over 78,000 active enterprises employing less than 10 people representing 92% of the overall total of active enterprises in our Region. These enterprises employed over 86,000 people, around 24% of the total employed, which is greater than the State share of 19% in this category. The growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) as a result of activity by world leading companies based in the Region (for example pharmaceutical, medical devices, technology, business services, financial services, and engineering, agriculture and food sectors) represents a significant opportunity. The Region has many examples of innovation and enterprise and Clare County Council’s Rural Development Strategy is an exemplar. The development of partnership models across a network of settlement and communities is promoted to optimise the use of specialist roles and maximise further investment in infrastructure and services with the wider hinterland shared between towns and villages in our rural Region. The way in which people work is changing. With advances in technology, changing employment trends, the arrival of millennials into the workplace, shortages in talent and a greater focus onwork-life balance, there is a significant rise in the number of people seeking flexible remote working. While e-working still encompasses employees working remotely from their office, it now extends to capture emerging employment trends, including digital nomads (people who are location- independent and use technology to perform their job) and e-lancers (independent consultants who operate predominantly online). The RSES supports co-ordinated initiatives to create a regional co-working smart e-hub network bringing talent together and building on the Regions value proposition as a location of choice to live and work. The Gaeltacht network of Digital Hubs is being implemented across the Region’s Gaeltacht areas. The RSES supports the development of a comprehensive strategy to better link andmanage thework of ‘enterprise’ hubs in the AEC. This hub network would be a valuable asset, contributing to the Region’s offering to investors, facilitating, attracting and retaining high-value talent and providing resources and facilities to support vibrant local communities.

Action Plan for Rural Development and Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

It is an objective to support the Action Plan for Rural Development led by the Department of Rural and Community Development and to support the development of priority areas under the Rural Development Programme 2014-20, and its successor, led by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Good Practice Example: South-West Examples of Rural Innovation The South-West has many good practice examples of centres of excellence, innovation and enterprise networks. Examples in Cork include Teagasc Moorepark Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre outside Fermoy, a world leader in agriculture research, and Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, a hotspot for technology start-ups and multinationals. Other e-centre locations in Cork have a wide reach providing state of the art enterprise facilities and opportunities for remote working, including in Bandon, Bantry, Bere Island, Charleville, Dunmanway, Fermoy, Macroom, Goleen and Youghal. In Kerry, centres have won national awards under the Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Development Fund. Examples of innovation centres include the Tom Crean Business Centre, the Service, Design and Innovation Hub Killorglin, Skellig Centre for Research and Innovation, Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub, Sneem Digital Hub and Kenmare Innovation Centre. Examples of refurbishment projects for digital hubs and start up enterprise space includes projects in Valentia Cable Station in Knightstown and the Old Dingle Hospital.

Southern Regional Assembly | RSES


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