The development of this website has been co-funded by the INTERREG IVB NWE Rural Alliances project through South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. Demographic change is 1 of 4 major issues facing the EU. In rural areas the downturn in agriculture/ forestry as the predominant economic driver, migration to urban areas & limited contributions from lifestyle immigrants, have led to fragmented society, ageing populations, reduced employment prospects & community wellbeing and loss of rural vibrancy, thus diminishing their contribution to a competitive Europe. Existing governance structures increasingly struggle to meet rural needs as the capacity for the public sector to invest in services & infrastructure is reduced by diminishing local tax receipts & the current economic climate.
Partners propose a new approach to address these issues by bringing together diverse business types & community groups to form alliances, enabling them to be their own agents for change through more participatory governance & local actions. This new approach, supported by academia & partners’ combined specialist skills, will combine the best of enterprise principles & community values to improve the competitiveness, sustainability, inclusivity & vibrancy of their areas, supported by a joint method to measure rural vibrancy.