Rural Economic Development
The appropriate development of our rural villages and settlements including the provision of infrastructure (water supply and waste water, broadband etc.) is crucial to sustain and increase the rural population and community and maintain facilities and services. Rural towns function as local drivers for their surrounding areas through well established economic, administrative and social functions. It is recognised that the promotion of farm diversification and new employment opportunities within the agriculture sector, energy production, circular bio-economy and rural tourism is necessary to sustain rural communities and ensure viability of existing community services.
High speed broadband roll out beyond urban centres will increase the potential for working from home and facilitate a mobile/remote and flexible workplace. The availability of high speed broadband, which is already accessible in our Libraries throughout the county, is of strategic importance to improving the productivity of the workforce in rural areas of Waterford. It will assist innovation and job creation, improving our status as an attractive location for foreign direct investment and enabling firms to compete in national and international markets. Remote working will reduce the need for employees to commute long distances to work, helping cut our CO2 emissions as well as bringing vibrancy and vitality back to rural our rural towns and villages.
The development plan will seek to create a balance of residential, commercial, employment, community and other uses in rural settlements in support of their broader rural hinterland.
Agriculture is the predominant land use in the County with 5.7% of people employed in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
of rural Waterford’s population are Pre-Schoolers; 12.5% are Primary School age; 9% Secondary School age and 16% are Older People (+65)
Community of Place Plans to act as rural economic drivers in tourism, agricultural and marine sectors (Eustary, Copper Coast, An Rinn, Blackwater/ West Waterford and Comeragh Uplands)
WCCC has assisted rural communities in rural economic activity with almost €4m allocated in rural funding since 2016
WCCC helps rural villages and towns through our Rural Regeneration Project e.g. €3.7m for Mount Congreve to establish a world-class tourism destination.
- What policies and objectives should be included in the development plan to accommodate sensitive rural development while safeguarded the countryside in terms of biodiversity and habitats?
- How do you think the development plan can support agriculture and other rural based enterprises such as forestry, marine and renewable energy?
- What are the services and infrastructure required to support vibrant rural communities and where should they be located?
- How can the development plan facilitate new and existing indigenous rural based enterprises and how can they be facilitated in unserviced rural areas?