A meeting on a major rural development initiative will take place in the Angler’s Rest in Headford this evening at 8pm.
The meeting on Smart Villages follows the successful roll-out of the initiative in Mountbellew, leading to a new office in the town.
Galway Rural Development (GRD) is now choosing a second location for Smart Villages – an initiative described by GRD chief Steve Dolan as a ‘game-changer for rural areas’.
He explained that Smart Villages are communities in rural areas using innovative solutions to improve their resilience for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“Across the EU, Smart Villages have implemented improvements to the lives of millions of rural dwellers in terms of their economic, social, environmental, and cultural lives – including through mobilising digital technologies,” said Steve.
Senior Manager of GRD’s LEADER team Conor Carty added that the Smart Villages concept opens up new opportunities to improve the sustainability of rural areas.
“It aims to deliver for communities on the promise of ‘a better life in rural areas’ and it reflects the principles and methods associated with ‘smart and competitive’ rural areas.”
Smart Villages is expected to be a major element of the next round of EU Programming, including for LEADER resources.
Conor said that sharing ideas, sharing experience, and building intercommunity relationships are also core concepts of Smart Villages and, if we are to build a rural future for all of our citizens, then proven initiatives like this must be central to our endeavours.
The plan is a collaboration between three local development companies; Galway Rural Development, Kilkenny Leader Partnership, and IRD Duhallow, and will be rolled-out this winter across much of the country.