Our Rural Future: Government’s Blueprint to Transform Rural Ireland
The Government has today published Our Rural Future, the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in decades.
The policy reflects the unprecedented change in living and working patterns during COVID-19 and the significant opportunities this presents for rural communities – from remote working and revitalising our town centres to job creation, developing a green economy and enhancing our outdoor amenities.
The five year strategy was launched in Croke Park by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, and Minister for Transport and the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.
Our Rural Future sets out a blueprint for the development of rural Ireland over the next five years.
Our Rural Future, Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025 is available here.
It is supported by 150 commitments across Government, which will address the challenges facing communities and deliver new opportunities for people living in rural areas.
The policy will help rural Ireland to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, enable long-term development of rural areas, and create more resilient rural economies and communities for the future.
Speaking at the launch of the policy, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said:
“Ireland is heading into an era of unprecedented change, and with that comes unprecedented opportunity.
“Over the course of the pandemic, we have discovered new ways of working and we have rediscovered our communities.
“The policy we launch today, Our Rural Future, provides a framework for the development of rural areas over the next five years.
“The policy is forward-looking and ambitious and addresses both the challenges facing rural areas and the opportunities which rural economies and communities can capitalise on.
“The Government’s vision is for a rural Ireland which is integral to our national economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing and development.
“That vision is built on the talent, skills and creativity of people in rural communities; on the importance of vibrant and lived-in rural places; and on the potential to create quality jobs and sustain our shared environment.
“Rural Ireland will play a central role in our recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
“The commitments outlined today will benefit individuals, families, communities and businesses. It will enhance the wellbeing and quality of life of people living in rural areas.
“It will build resilient and sustainable rural communities and economies through investment, supports and services. And it will ensure that rural communities are at the heart of designing and delivering responses that meet local needs.”
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys said:
“Our Rural Future represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development for Ireland.
“As we recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to reimagine rural Ireland and harness the talent, skills and creativity running through our rural communities.
“For decades we have seen global trends where young people leave their local communities to live and work in larger cities. As we emerge from COVID-19 we will never have a better opportunity to reverse that long-standing trend.
“The move to remote working, underpinned by the rollout of the National Broadband Plan, has the potential to transform Rural Ireland like never before.
“It will allow people to work from their own local communities, revitalise our town centres, reduce commuting times, lower transport emissions and most importantly - improve the quality of life of our people.”