Codd wants your views on rural regeneration

CLLR JIM CODD claims 60 houses were left idle in Wexford over the Christmas period. Pic;

Newly elected Wexford County Council member for Rosslare LEA, Cllr Jim Codd, is planning to travel the district holding public ‘think-ins’ and meeting local groups, in an effort to establish a rural regeneration unit and he hopes to hold up to twenty events before the end of the year as part of an initiative to save rural Wexford.
“Rural Wexford is on its knees,” Cllr Codd said. “Even now, five years after the apparent end of the recession, we are struggling to create real employment, sustainable business and unceasing prospects in our rural villages and communities.
“I feel one of the problems is a decidedly dire lack of cohesive planning and thinking among the very many different organisations, communities and small businesses that make up our rural sphere.
“In the next few months I plan on holding a series of public ‘think-ins’, encompassing everyone from business people to community activists to farmers to sporting organisations to ordinary citizens, in an effort to create the most efficient model for a rural regeneration unit for this area.
“This unit would be integral to the establishment of a unified tourism plan for the area, the identification and roll out of sustainability projects and the creation of food co-ops for local growers and suppliers. It would also identify projects that support job creation, entrepreneurship and innovation, such as enterprise hubs and creative hubs.
“There is already much we can learn from what is working in our district, such as the rejuvenation of old buildings in Bridgetown for small commercial entities, the creation of walking paths on GAA grounds and the social inclusion offered by storytelling groups.
“What we want is to encourage encourage residential living and sustainable commercial development in villages, utilising old and maybe vacant buildings, the creation of rural based employment and the development of a more coherent and dynamic tourism plan.
“The National Rural Regeneration and Development Fund will provide €1 billion in investment over the next 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas, as part of Project Ireland 2040.
“The fund will support ambitious, collaborative projects in rural settlements of less than 10,000 people and outlying areas, and will contribute to sustainable rural regeneration. It will also support job creation in rural areas.
“It’s my hope that a rural regeneration unit in the Rosslare LEA, working with the co-operation of Wexford County Council, could greatly enhance life for everyone in our area,” concluded Cllr Codd.

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