A central focus will be the need to ensure the social cohesion of a sub-regional area i.e. not just to support economic development but also to support social inclusion. Rural Ireland is becoming increasingly diverse and it is important to embrace this diversity ensuring that future community development recognises the needs of all members of society.

People may be excluded and marginalised from participating in activities that are considered the norm for others in society because of inadequate income and resources.  In rural areas, in particular, the low density of population, high levels of out-migration and distance from urban centres, can often result in fewer employment options and lower levels of service provision than in urban areas. In rural areas, people’s experience of exclusion is often compounded by physical isolation.

This theme will be delivered through the sub themes listed below:

Theme One focuses on the need to support the development of the rural economy which has been identified as a focus for rural development. This is demonstrated by driving continued local economic development, including diversification of the rural economy and the creation of employment opportunities for the local community, including those from disadvantaged groups.

A central focus will be the need to ensure the social cohesion of a sub-regional area i.e. not just to support economic development but also to support social inclusion. Rural Ireland is becoming increasingly diverse and it is important to embrace this diversity ensuring that future community development recognises the needs of all members of society.

This theme seeks to maximise the potential of environmental actions to contribute to the sustainable development of rural communities. It focuses on utilising the landscape within a local area, its features and natural resources, while simultaneously creating a greater environmental awareness and improving environmental protection.

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