Archive for March, 2009


west cork leader pic5.jpg

This is me with my colleagues Kevin Santry and Ian Dempsey going a bit overboard on the PR shoot.

Below  is my press release on the new Rural Development/LEADER Programme. For anyone interested in food projects there’s great potential under the progamme…

…West Cork’s newly integrated local development company, West Cork Development Partnership launched the much anticipated new LEADER Programme on March 5 in Dunmanway. The launch is great news for community groups and local business, particularly those involved in the food, tourism and craft sectors. A wide range of supports, from direct financial assistance through training and advice, will be targetted at communities and businesses taking positive steps to address their needs in these trying times.

Under the Programme, funding of €14.6 million will be provided, 55% from the European Union and 45% from the National Exchequer.  Nationally, the programme funds total €425m, almost treble the amount available in the last Programme (2000-2006), and the largest ever package for rural development. The rollout of the funding is particularly welcome at a time when public funding elsewhere has been severely cut. Maximum grant levels under the new programme are significantly higher than heretofore (€150,000) and the rate of aid for community projects has been increased to 75% for capital projects. Commenting at the launch of the programme nationally, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív said, “Despite the economic challenges facing the country, I believe that this is a time of great opportunity for rural areas. With the increasing urbanisation of society, there is renewed interest in rural recreation, marine-associated activities and indigenous small food production.  In the last five years, we have seen the numbers of visitors coming to Ireland for rural recreation more than double.  I believe that we can double this again by 2013.  With this new Rural Development Programme, in association with other major programmes run by my Department such as the CLÁR Programme and the Rural Social Scheme, I am confident that we will see significant developments and sustainable job creation in rural Ireland between now and 2013.”

Patrick Murphy, Chairman of West Cork Development Partnership welcomed the launch of the new programme and the new company, which he believes “provides an opportunity to bring life to the entrepreneurial and innovative abilities of people in West Cork. Indigenous industry has always been and will continue to be the basis of economic success in West Cork.

The formation of West Cork Development Partnership brings together community and statutory bodies, providing a single vehicle to achieve a coherent and focused development strategy for West Cork. This will ensure the resources and energies of both West Cork Development Partnership and its partner agencies, will be maximised to achieve a common goal. – Jobs, economic and rural development.

We have, with the launch of this programme, against the backdrop of the current national situation, an opportunity to alter our attitude as to how we – as a community in West Cork, can work together and in doing so, can change lives. Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

West Cork Development Partnership has set out an ambitious plan for the next five years, which Ian Dempsey CEO is confident can help the region address many of the challenges it faces. “The economy has changed rapidly in the 9 months since we submitted this plan, but I believe that it is more relevant than ever. Our strategy is about building on our core strengths in West Cork – our skills, natural resources, environment, community spirit, identity and reputation. At an enterprise level this is encapsulated by the Fuchsia Brand, but we want to go further and develop a cluster effect among and around the Fuchsia enterprises, incorporating suppliers, service providers and others that add value to what the businesses deliver. The cluster approach focuses on interaction, helping each other get better at what we do, learning and innovating. As a means of facilitating greater collaboration and co-operation it will result in businesses retaining greater economic wealth and knowledge within the area. There is a challenge for us in West Cork around how we use knowledge and technology, business models are changing rapidly and this opens up opportunities for new indigenous businesses.”

At a community level, West Cork Development Partnership will drive initiatives and offer supports to improve the balance of development throughout the region, achieve effective community participation and foster responsibility for the local social, natural, built and cultural environment. If you have a development project in mind then you can view the full plan at www.wcdp.ie


Read Full Post »

The first of the four part series of the Slow Food MasterClasses series in Urru, Bandon was a great success.
We had a great night with over 20 attendees covering chef (Good Things Cafe)
to Slow Foodies to experienced domestic cooks and new mums. We even had our
first guy via twitter! Proof of the pudding is in the eating and that vast
majority of those who only came for one night last night have signed up for
next week again!

The next one is tomorrow night, Tuesday March 10th, 7.30pm at Urru Cluinary Store, Bandon.

The subject will be Pork in all it’s splendour!

There are a couple of spaces available, so please call Ruth on 023 8854731 or email to slowfoodwestcork@gmail.com

Look forward to seeing you there!

West Cork Slow Food Convivium
Co. Cork

Read Full Post »