Updated: 26/04/17 : 04:38:17
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Minister says 70% of new jobs created are rural

Minister Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O'Connor has launched the Framework for Town Centre Renewal.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor launched the framework in Sligo's City Hall yesterday afternoon.

The minister said, “As Chairperson of the Retail Consultation Forum, I am delighted to launch the Framework for Town Centre Renewal in Sligo today. The Framework sets out a practical step by step action plan for stakeholders to work collaboratively to enhance their local town or village. It will be a key support document for towns and villages applying for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme launched by my colleague Minister Humphries ten days ago.

"The Framework for Town Centre Renewal will play an important part in the work to rejuvenate and revitalise towns and villages around the country. The Framework supports the Government’s commitment to ensure that the benefits of sustainable economic recovery are felt in every part of Ireland."

"It is best described as a step-by-step plan for town centre renewal and focuses on the retail sector which suffered a serious negative impact during the recession."

The minister emphasised that It involves all stakeholders working together, assessing the situation in each town and establishing a town team to develop a plan and apply for financial support to implement it.

“Through a collaborative and structured approach to town centre renewal and the continued passion and dedication of people in towns and villages across the country we can achieve our ambition to create vibrant, thriving town centres that are attractive places not only to live in but to work in, do business in and invest in.”

Stand down

When the recent decision by the Chairman of the Western Development Commission to stand down because of his view that there was no government commitment to rural development and renewal, was put to the Minister, she reiterated her commitment to the west.

She said she was a west of Ireland woman and she is making sure that there is regional development.

"If you look at the job announcements for the past year, 70% were outside of Dublin", she said.

The Minister highlighted the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure that vibrancy is restored to rural towns.

 "Through the Framework for Town Centre Renewal Town and the recently launched Village Renewal Scheme, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs are collectively supporting local Authorities, local businesses and local communities to adopt town centre management best practices and identify projects which will have a positive economic impact on their towns and villages," the minister concluded.