New strategy aims to revitalize rural and urban communities in a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable manner throughout Ireland

On August 8, 2023, Ireland‘s Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D. published the Department of Rural and Community Development’s new Statement of Strategy.

The Strategy sets out the vision and strategic goals that will guide the work of the Department over the period 2023 to 2025 as it continues to deliver on its mission “to promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland”.

Our Rural Future, the landmark national rural development policy, is having a positive impact, contributing to revitalising our rural towns and villages and bringing about improved opportunities and a better quality of life for people who live and work in rural areas,” Humphreys said.

And our work with the Community and Voluntary Sector is contributing to enhancing local community structures, strengthening the resilience that exists within our communities, and building social cohesion,” she continued.

The Statement of Strategy covers the period 2023-2025 and was informed by extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.

It provides an outline of the Department’s work across its five strategic goals, as set out below, and actions for delivery under each of the goals:

  1. Advance the economic and social development of rural areas, including the offshore islands
  2. Contribute to and support national regional development objectives
  3. Support empowered, inclusive and resilient communities and a thriving volunteer culture
  4. Enable the community, voluntary, charity, philanthropic and social economy sectors to contribute fully to civil society
  5. Foster and maintain a high performance culture and organization to achieve our mission in the interests of all communities.

Humphreys continued, “This new Statement of Strategy will guide us as we build on the good progress already achieved in delivering our key policies and supports and as we address ongoing and emerging needs of communities as they arise“.

I look forward to working with Minister of State Joe O’Brien and the staff of the Department to deliver on the ambitious range of actions in the Strategy to be implemented between now and 2025,” she added.

Joe O’Brien T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities, also welcomed the new Strategy, said “The Department of Rural and Community Development provides critical supports to both rural and urban communities throughout the country.

Our mission is more important than ever, as our society continues to create vibrant and integrated communities whilst responding to emerging challenges such as the rising costs of living,” he added.

Delivery of the commitments outlined in this new Strategy will ensure continued support for those in the community and voluntary sectors, and will further strengthen and support our communities and contribute to building a more inclusive and cohesive society,” O’Brien explained.

Heather Humphreys concluded, “I am proud of the positive contribution the work of my Department has made to date. My Department’s policies and strategic investment are enabling our rural areas and communities to develop sustainably, emerge stronger from challenges, and to thrive.

Photo of Sligo, Ireland via Adobe Stock.

See the Department’s Statement of Strategy.

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