Govt’s Rural Action Plan will help to revitalise Carlow – DEERING.

23rd January, 2017

The Government has launched its Action Plan for Rural Ireland and Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has said it will bring tangible benefits to people and communities in Carlow and help to revitalise the county.

“Fine Gael in Government, is using the resources created by our strong economy to deliver real benefits to people and communities all across the country. The Government’s new Action Plan for Rural Ireland contains over 270 targeted actions that will help to deliver these benefits to people here in Carlow.

“The Plan contains innovative measures to support the revitalisation of over 600 rural towns and villages across Ireland, which will see investment of up to €37 million per annum in rural development schemes such as the Town and Village renewal Scheme, the CLÁR Programme and the Rural Recreation Programme.

“A number of towns and villages across Carlow were badly affected by the recession of recent year and part of Fine Gael’s Action Plan will review planning legislation to allow the change of use of vacant commercial properties in rural towns and villages. I hope to see this having an impact right across County Carlow. There will also be a new pilot scheme to encourage increased residential occupancy in towns and villages.

“Broadband is crucial to many people in rural Ireland, particularly those trying to run a business. I am pleased that the Government is allocating an initial €275 million to implement the National Broadband Plan and will be implementing the recommendations of Report of the Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce. Every Local Authority in the country will have a Local Digital Strategy and broadband officers to see this through.

“We will invest €4 billion under the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme, including €250m in the LEADER Programme.

“Tourism is crucial to the economy of rural Ireland and many livelihoods are dependent on it here in Carlow. We will invest €6 million in the development of our Blueways to support recreational tourism and €10 million in our National Parks and Nature Reserves to support niche tourism

“Sports and recreation play a major part in the Action Plan with planned investment of €50 million in sports, recreation and cultural facilities throughout the country, which will have a positive impact on communities here in Carlow.

“We have seen how a targeted and monitored approach worked with our Action Plan for Jobs, reducing unemployment from 15.2% at its height in the recession, to 7.8% as it currently stands. This Action Plan for Rural Ireland will see all Government Departments working to revitalise and strengthen rural Ireland for the benefit of all who live there.”