Investment of €30m Is a Start, but More Measures Needed to Revitalise Rural Towns and Villages

IFA Deputy President and Countryside Chairman Tim O’Leary has welcomed the announcement by the Government that they are to put €30m into the renewal of rural towns and villages.

Tim O’Leary said the stated aim of the new scheme to revitalise town centres and villages, which have been decimated by the downturn, will have to deliver an environment that creates economic activity and jobs.

He said, “IFA’s recently-launched rural affairs policy document also identified the following measures that are important in rejuvenating rural communities:

• Delivery on the commitment to provide a high-quality, fibre broadband network across rural Ireland to support homes and businesses, job creation, investment and rural development.
• Introduction of tax-credits to encourage employers to take on apprentices and create sustainable employment in rural communities. Many of these communities have experienced high levels of youth unemployment and have been badly impacted by emigration.
• Incentives, such as double tax relief on rental expenditure and concessions on commercial rates, should be introduced to encourage businesses to locate in villages and town centres which have been decimated during the recession.

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