The Wicklow Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) launched today (Monday) charts the future growth and development of the county for the next six years.
Prepared after a wide-ranging consultative process involving all interest groups in the county, the Plan – which runs from 2016 to 2022 – has core objectives to:
- Promote and support economic development and
- Promote and support local and community development in County Wicklow both by Wicklow County Council itself and in partnership with other economic and community development stakeholders.
LECP 2016-2020 contains 10 high level goals, 21 local objectives and more than 140 local actions. In addition, it sets out outcomes and timeframes for the delivery of the various elements.
These will be assessed on an annual basis and a progress report will be presented annually throughout the lifetime of the plan.
“We are confident that by working with our citizens and our partners to implement this plan, we will enhance the quality of life for our urban and rural communities, drive our economy in an innovative and sustainable way and enrich our natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of all,” it states.
The Plan contains a series of community goals, including:
- Develop community capacity in disadvantaged communities and engage in urban regeneration and rural development
- Promote active citizenship and public participation to improve governance, participation and enrich decision making
- Develop high quality integrated services available to all communities, in particular, disadvantaged communities and vulnerable groups
- Develop a vibrant and Innovative Community and Social Enterprise Sector
- Address access to education and training to increase life opportunities for all
- Harness efficiently the full resources of the County and promote interagency collaboration
Key economic goals set out in the Plan include:
- Develop infrastructure and measures that are positive and supportive to investment, enterprise, innovation and knowledge creation in strategic locations
- Sustain existing enterprise and develop quality employment and income opportunities for the wide range of employment needs in the County, with possibilities for reversing commuting patterns
- Capitalise on Wicklow’s unique attributes and proximity to the Dublin market, excellent quality of life, human capital, tourism, landscape, marine, agricultural and forestry resources
- Support a shift towards low carbon and climate change resilient economic activity, reducing energy dependence, promoting the sustainable use of resources and leading in the Smart Green Economy
Speaking at the launch of the Plan in County Buildings on Monday (November 7th), Mr Bryan Doyle, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council, said it represented a major collaborative initiative between local community development and local economic development in the county and reflected the enhanced role of local government in these areas of activity.
He stated: “The objectives incorporated into this Plan reflect the vision and aspirations of the county, and support and promote stronger economic community and development and relationships with our citizens, with local businesses and with our partner agencies.”
Mr Doyle said we were now at the implementation stage adding: “It is the start of another challenging step in the process. The 142 actions identified in the Plan, are strategic in nature and reflective of the high-level goals objectives which emerged from the process. “
He pointed out that the actions would be undertaken by Wicklow County Council and partner agencies adding: “As part of our budgetary process we will allocate resources against the actions owned by Wicklow County Council and do our utmost to ensure that we deliver on these actions.”
The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald, said the Council’s vision was for a county which provides a high quality of life and well-being for all; values socially inclusive urban and rural communities; was driven by a dynamic and innovative economy; promotes and prioritises sustainable development and protects and enhances the county’s unique and rich natural and cultural heritage. This vision was reflected in the goals, objectives and actions identified in Plan.
He said the Plan was the product of more than 12 months of hard work by Wicklow County Council’s Economic, Development and Enterprise Support Strategic Policy Committee and the Local Community Development Committee along with a multitude of other agencies and local development bodies
He added: “This Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) will position Wicklow as a county prepared to harness its many unique physical, natural and human resources, in order to improve the quality of life for all who live, work and visit the county, as the county moves into the future with confidence.”
Cllr Gerry Walsh, Chair, Economic Development and Enterprise Support SPC, said he was confident that the Local Economic and Community Plan will deliver a dynamic and vibrant economy in County Wicklow and will contribute towards further improving the quality of life for all of our citizens, urban and rural.
Cllr Grainne McLoughlin, Chair, Local Community Development Committee, said one of the principal aims of the community element of the LECP is to develop a coherent and co-ordinated by:
- Bringing a stronger focus to local and community development
- Co-ordinate community supports at a county level
- Bring all relevant agencies and funded bodies together to target their resources to achieve the goals and objectives of this plan