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The National Rural Network (NRN) has today published the ‘Smart Villages and Rural Towns in Ireland’ July 2021 newsletter. Showcasing a wide range of community-led smart initiatives, this newsletter features six guest authors as well as a host of other smart examples, which aim to bring local actors to the fore.

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Smart Villages (and Smart Rural Towns in an Irish context) are rural areas and local communities which build on, and enhance, their existing strengths and assets through creative thinking and by embracing innovation to create desirable places for rural people to live and work. In creating a Smart Village, community groups and individuals often overcome local challenges by exploring and implementing practical and tangible solutions.

Ireland’s position in relation to the development of Smart Villages and Rural Towns is that it can be greatly enhanced through the successful delivery and modernisation of the LEADER Programme. Creating synergies between the LEADER Programme and the various smart supports, projects and initiatives showcased in this newsletter, through increased levels of collaboration, has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for people who live and work in rural towns and villages throughout Ireland.

This newsletter’s focus on innovative community-led local development is now more important than ever as villages and rural towns throughout Ireland and Europe adapt, rebuild, redevelop and reenergise as part of their COVID-19 recovery response.

To view the newsletter in full, please see here.