The policy’s vision is for a thriving rural Ireland “which is integral to our national economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing and development. An Ireland which is built on the interdependence of urban and rural areas. An Ireland which recognises the centrality of people, the importance of vibrant and lived-in rural places and the potential to create quality jobs and sustain our shared environment”.
The VFI said that ‘Our Rural Future’ is “an ambitious plan that will do much to support people and businesses across the country”.
The Federation had already been in discussions with the Department of Rural and Community Development about such a pilot scheme and now look forward to progressing the concept with the minister and her department.
“The VFI welcomes the launch of a new rural strategy that will bring a fresh impetus to rural life and business,” said VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben, “The population is increasing all the time so this coherent strategy for rural living is well-placed to take advantage of these demographic changes.
“As part of this new rural strategy the VFI is engaging with Minister Humphrys and the Department of Rural and Community Development about developing programmes to support rural pubs. Our members play a vital role in rural areas so any opportunity to enhance what they offer to local communities is welcome.
“At a time of great uncertainty for the pub sector and hospitality in general, the support from Minister Humphrys and her department underlines the value pubs will continue to play in their local communities once they are permitted to reopen.
“The pub is here to stay but it’s crucial new ways of doing business are embraced that reflect demographic trends and local demand,” he concluded.
A VFI survey back in August found that 91% of its members were not satisfied with the Government’s handling of the Coronavirus crisis and 82% no longer supported the Government.