We believe that rural communities (and our towns and villages) are the engine for Offaly's progress, recognising that our natural assets and citizens are the key drivers in this progress. In order for the potential of rural areas to be delivered for local communities; local projects and interventions need to be carried out that are based on community needs and focus on realising the significant potential within rural communities, the rural economy and the rural environment.
In Offaly Local Development we seek to support communities develop their natural infrastructure that will allow leisure activities to take place in a setting that will ultimately benefit the body, mind and/or spirit.
With our rich stock of natural resources, natural environment and biodiversity are connected with Offaly's citizens, culture and identity. Our county’s landscapes are synonymous with bogs, wetlands, eskers and canals.
One of the programmes that OLDC is involved with is the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS), which provides funding for the development of new outdoor recreational infrastructure; as well as supporting the necessary repair, maintenance, enhancement or promotion of existing outdoor recreational infrastructure in rural areas. Project supported under this scheme through OLDC in 2022 - 2023 include:
The scheme is funded under Our Rural Future.
Why fund and support community spaces? They bring people together – to enjoy, have fun, relax and connect. They are a fundamental resource within the community and are particularly important support people to overcome isolation – where that be isolation that comes from distance, disadvantage, discrimination or disconnect.
In OLDC the support for these community spaces comes in a variety of forms - people from our employment schemes to support the volunteers run their spaces; cultivating community initiatives that make use of these spaces and create an environment for fun and connection; funding to aid the development of these spaces to make them inclusive, accessible and welcoming; nurturing people so that they may take a first step into these spaces.
Community spaces are not necessarily always about the physical spaces, but the outcomes they produce.