The report of the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA) established that many of the key issues confronting rural communities are part of a long-term economic and social transformation.
However, the report by CEDRA also suggested that there is significant economic potential in rural areas from communities of engaged citizens to individual entrepreneurs that can help stimulate regeneration in rural areas by the facilitation of locally run economic operations, the development of a strong sense of community involvement and purpose, and by the injection of capital into the local community.
The CEDRA report was published in April 2014 and recommended a series of actions by government departments to support the long-term sustainable development of rural Ireland.
Based on the report of CEDRA, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, in its annual budgetary allocation, provides funds for the Rural Innovation and Development Fund to support “innovative, small scale pilot initiatives that explore the diverse range of potential identified through the CEDRA process”. This fund includes an allocation to be used for a number of pilot initiatives. The schemes administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine include: