Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Rural Regions Dr Patricia O’Hara.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Rural Regions Dr Patricia O’Hara."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Rural Regions Dr Patricia O’Hara

2 ► State agency ► Seven-county Western Region ► DCRAGA ► Strategic remit ► WR mainly rural – 77% outside Gateways & Hubs Western Development Commission

3 Presentation Outline ► Key trends in rural regions ► Challenges and opportunities ► WDC experience in rural development action ► Lessons from practice ► Research needs ► Policy approaches

4 Challenges: Changing Economic Structures ► Regional variation in output and incomes ► Dependence on primary sectors, construction and local service jobs ► Spatial concentration in agriculture ► Industrial structure – how to move from old to new; innovation and ‘knowledge’ ► Skills pool ► Infrastructure limitations

5 Challenges: Social Changes ► Rural areas ’multi-functional’ and very diverse ► Population growth and changing social mix ► Value of rural lifestyle ► Uneven spread and quality of services ► Changing role of rural towns ► New forms of social exclusion and social isolation

6 Challenges for Policy ► Impact of ‘global forces’ - deregulation, competitiveness, ► Cities increasingly seen as ‘engines of growth’ – ‘critical mass’, clusters, ‘counterbalances’ ► Need to ‘prove’ value and measure impact - lack of robust ‘evidence’ and indicators ► Planning and sustainability issues ► Cross government coherence ► Top-down coordination

7 Opportunities ► In over 1/3 of OECD countries, a rural region has the highest employment creation ► Assets of heritage, amenities, renewable energy ► Diversification of farming – new products and processes, organics, food niches, local markets etc ► Businesses large and small are thriving but must have infrastructure ► Innovation and the Creative sector ► Appropriate policy systems and innovative service delivery using ICT

8 Net cumulative job creation in agency assisted firms 2002-2006 –Western Region and State

9 WDC and Rural Tourism ► Blueprint for Tourism Development in the West: An Action Plan for Rural Areas ► Western Development Tourism Programme established. Outputs include: ► Green Box – Econ Tourism (cross border) ► Walking in the West ► Tourism Taste Trail – blueprint ► Training – cross border ► Super-region concept

10 Organic Agri-Food ► Blueprint for Organic Agri- Food Production in the West Outputs: Atlantic Organics: New products developed under Rossinver Organics brand Western Organic Network: Network of 160 producers;

11 Renewable Energy ► To Catch the Wind: Potential for Community Ownership of Wind Farms in Ireland WDC facilitating a pilot project between community and private developer using a community investment vehicle ► Wood Energy Strategy & Action Plan Opportunity to exploit for job and wealth creation, Reduction on reliance on imported fuels Environmentally friendly and sustainable energy source

12 WDC Investment Fund ► €27m invested in 75 projects ► 58% outside hubs and gateways ► Fund revolving ► Strong interest ► Successful hi-tech firms e.g. Eire Composites, Cora Systems, ► Community Investment e.g. Movalley Resources

13 The Look West Campaign ► Promote Western Region as a place to live, work and do business ► Direct people to ► Provide useful information for individuals and enterprises thinking of moving ► 2,600 individuals & businesses have registered their interest ► over half in the 26-35 age group and 80% with third level qualifications

14 Lessons from Practice ► Need for clear action model and roadmap for RD actors that involves  Shared vision between partners  Solid information-based action plan  Ways of trying-out ideas and actions  Mainstreaming and renewal strategies  Expert support and advice (Teagasc?)

15 Knowledge Gaps ► Dynamics of rural economy – especially service sector ► Changing role of towns in rural regions ► Understanding rural life-style preferences ► Recreation, and tourism potential of rural amenity assets ► Appropriate service delivery mechanisms for rural areas ► Social impact of economic changes etc, etc,

16 Policy Approaches ► International experience suggests that a multi-sectoral focus on place and investments works best ► All levels of government and stakeholders must be involved with common purpose ► Need structures that facilitate knowledge-sharing and efficiency ► Political commitment ► Robust analyses of successes and failures ► Address research and intelligence gap for policy – especially indicators capable of measuring outputs

Download ppt "Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Rural Regions Dr Patricia O’Hara."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google