The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has welcomed the launch of the Government’s new five-year rural strategy that will promote living and working in rural areas.
The Government’s Our Rural Future plan features 150 commitments, set to run from 2021-2025, and includes such initiatives as turning vacant properties into remote working hubs and using pubs as community spaces.
As an organisation that represents publicans in rural Ireland, the VFI says Our Rural Future is an ambitious plan that will do much to support people and businesses across the country.
As part of Our Rural Future, Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys T.D, announced that her department plans to develop a pilot scheme to support the use of rural pubs as community spaces and hubs for local services.
Proposals in Budget 2022 could also see additional financial supports to encourage people to live in rural areas.
Regarding the idea of using pubs as community spaces and hubs for local services, a pilot scheme will be developed under the plan to support this goal.
The VFI has been in discussions with the Department of Rural and Community Development about such a pilot scheme and looks forward to progressing the concept with the minister and her department.
Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, said: “The VFI welcomes the launch of a new rural strategy that will bring a fresh impetus to rural life and business. 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 Humphries 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.
“The pub is here to stay but it’s crucial new ways of doing business are embraced that reflect demographic trends and local demand,” said Mr Cribben.