Economic Profile of County Galway - Galway County Council by wuzhenguang


									Economic Development Strategy
      Galway County Council

           2007 – 2013


            Promotio                     Strategic
              n of                       Planning


             Developing                  Supporting
            Infrastructur                Employment
                  e                       Creators

                              s and
Economic Development Strategy                                      Draft

Table of Contents


Terms of Reference…………………………………………………………….. 2

Executive Summary……………………………………………………………. 3

Introduction……………………………………………………………………… 7

Section 1   Our County – Resources and Profile ………………………..11
1.1   Our Resources…………………………………………………………........................ 12
1.2   Our People……………………………………………………………………………….. 19

Section 2   Economic Actions Programmes of Galway
            County Council 2006-2012……………………………………. 30
2.1   Our Macro Response…………………………………………………………. ……….. 33
2.1   Our Sub County Responses………………………………………………… ……….. 52

Section 3   Macro Economic Forecasts for Ireland……….……………. 59

Appendices……………………………………………………………………… 66

Galway County Council               1
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft

A strong economy is the heartbeat of social cohesion. The existence of a vibrant economy provides
an opportunity for a County to undertake balanced regional development. Having a robust economy
enables an area to plan proactively for the future, make good use of resources and address the
social inequalities that have been created in the past. This Economic Development Strategy for
Galway County Council will set out how we intend to ensure continued and sustainable
development in order to encourage the generation of wealth, investment and jobs in ways that meet
the needs of our citizens.

All too often the impact of local authorities on the local economy is underestimated. Local
authorities are responsible for over 9.5 % of government expenditure and contribute in a major way
to the local, regional and national economy. Local authorities are responsible for a significant
portion of NDP expenditure and manage some of the most complex infrastructural projects in

Over the past number of decades local authorities have been investing heavily in improving
infrastructure to cater for the needs of a growing population, and in promoting and developing local
areas. The focus of this investment has been on creating an attractive environment for local
business and for communities to prosper. By investing heavily in the future of local areas, local
authorities have shown significant leadership and by making this investment, have enhanced
communities and made development possible. Vital programmes to put in place key pieces of
infrastructure through of the Water Services Investment Programme, Regional Waste Management
Strategies, Roads Programme, Broadband and Housing Construction programmes are being
delivered. This is a long-term investment in our future and is adding value to our communities and
promoting economic development.

The Economic Development Strategy is framed in the context of achieving the objectives outlined in
the County Development Board Strategy 2002 – 2012, the County Development Plan 2003 – 2009
and the County Galway Spatial Strategy.

This Strategy presents the initiatives that will be pursued by Galway County Council to support
economic growth into the future. A central ethos in delivery of these initiatives is the partnership
process with other stakeholders such as the private and public sectors and the Community that
Galway County Council will pursue.

Various organisational and corporate commitments have been developed in order progress the
economic development of the County in line with local government’s obligations to the development
of their areas. In light of the significant economic expansion proposed for the Athenry – Oranmore
Economic Corridor there is a need to define Galway County Council’s overall remit, objectives,
priorities and actions in order to achieve balanced and sustainable development throughout the
county. In particular, the designation of certain ‘development zones’ in the forthcoming spatial
strategy offers an opportunity to develop proactive and coherent policies to support economic
development, expansion and creation in line with the specific development needs of each zone.

The Strategy will be structured to define the Council’s overall commitments to economic
development from a cross-functional perspective. In light of the variation to the County
Development Plan for inclusion of the economic corridor, the regional planning guidelines and
Tuam hub town, this Strategy will be developed to compliment and acknowledge the various
objectives, policies and proposals for these key development zones.

The Strategy will add meaning and context the County Spatial Strategy currently being prepared
and will seek to identify specific growth drivers for each ‘designated’ zone. The specific issues to
be addressed include:

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Economic Development Strategy                                                                 Draft

       To outline a general profile of the economic base in the County, demographic and socio-
        economic trends and future forecasts.
       To outline the main economic development objectives of the Council across a series of
        thematic areas, that combined, can lead to future sustainable economic growth
       To outline the County’s competitive advantage and strategic location along the Atlantic
        Corridor, designation under the National Spatial Strategy and the contribution of key
        development centres to current economic development
       To indicate graphically the various economic development zones or clusters that exist. (or
        can be ‘created’)
       To identify the various unique development opportunities that exist in each zone, the
        infrastructure deficits to be addressed, the potential growth areas and the possible
        contribution of the Council to each area’s development.
       To develop a series of actions for the promotion of the County as an economic base and
        location for industry (externally) and to promote the County as an attractive location for
        enterprise to gain ‘spill over’ advantage from Galway City and the new economic corridor.
       To acknowledge the role and contribution of other key development agencies as part of the
        County Development Board’s focus on economic development.
       To outline the Council’s contribution to co-ordinating and facilitating the work of all
        development agencies and regional bodies and the leadership qualities available to ‘plan
        for development’.

Executive Summary:
The Economic profile of County Galway outlines a County in transition. During the last 10-15 years
the County has undergone constant and significant economic growth and structural change. We
have moved from a producer economy to a service economy in a rapid transformation. Our labour
force has changed dramatically with significant numbers of females entering the work force. An
influx of non-nationals in more recent years has also made the workplace a more cosmopolitan
place. With all this change and growth, to date infrastructural development has struggled to keep
pace or achieve the catch-up required.

These changes have created new challenges for the economy of County Galway. To sustain our
economic growth and prosperity we need to make a further transformation from a service economy
to a knowledge economy. This will require significant investment and further cultural change in
order to ensure that future economic growth is sustainable.

Galway County Council’s primary contribution to economic development is in the provision of
essential infrastructure to facilitate industrial development and the regulation and provision of
supportive land use and planning policy. In addition, the provision of supports to facilitate and
enable other development agencies to attract industry and employment alongside local
communities to develop local enterprises and enterprise centres is important. Galway County
Council can influence the shape, location, size and structure of its industrial base through
supportive policies and flexibility to respond to areas that are struggling with the ongoing structural

Galway County Council has a regulatory and enforcement role in relation to planning and
environmental issues but is also committed to providing a supportive development-led environment
to enable enterprise to flourish. This will take the form of specific development policies outlined in
our County Development Plan and County Spatial Strategy together with the actions outlined in this
Strategy. Some of the key actions proposed centre around the following issues:

       Developing Road Transportation, Public Transportation, Air & Sea Transportation,
        Water and Wastewater Services, Waste Management, Broadband Infrastructure.
       Promoting our Tourism Product, Promoting out Arts, Language and Cultural
        Product, Promoting Rural Enterprise.
       Supporting Rural Enterprise Development, Innovation and e-business, Market Towns
        and Food Industries.
       Provision of Industrial Land, Co-ordinating Mechanisms to support economic

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Economic Development Strategy                                                                        Draft

        Providing a Business Response Unit, Supporting Community Enterprise Centres,
         facilitating Networking and Support for the business sector.
        Facilitating Educational Support Initiatives, Developing Local Capacity.

A key initiative included in this Strategy is the establishment of a Business Response Unit (BRU –
The word brú in Irish can be translated to mean ‘drive’, ‘put pressure on’ and a ‘source of
knowledge’) within the Council facilitated by the Community, Enterprise and Economic
Development Unit. BRU will act as a mechanism for building stronger relationships between
Galway County Council and the business community through a single contact point and facilitation
of joint initiatives.

Spatial and Co-ordinated Economic Development

This Strategy recognises that within County Galway, there are a number of sub-regions that require
different and focused economic interventions. These development zones experience different
economic conditions and variables that will influence their growth in the future. Galway County
Council will undertake initiatives that endeavor to maximize the potential from the positive economic
and social conditions in each of these development zones. Where there is an agency with direct
responsibility for economic development of a zone (such as Údarás na Gaeltachta in the
Gaeltacht), Galway County Council will liaise closely with the relevant body.

Economic Development through Partnership

Economic Development can be achieved through the combination of a number of factors. It
involves an area being competitive, connected (internally and externally), co-operative, adaptable,
knowledgeable and innovative, resource rich, secure, sustainable and stable. There is no single
agency in Ireland that has a mandate to collectively address all these issues, hence at both a
national and local level, partnership processes have been central to economic transformation. This
Strategy outlines the initiatives Galway County Council are and will undertake to achieve further
economic growth but it will be delivered in the context that the success of the Strategy will be
determined by the levels of partnership activity undertaken.

Regional Economic Growth will ensure County Economic Growth

County Galway lies on the border between the BMW region and the S&E region. It is the central
county in the western seaboard of Ireland. Economic growth in surrounding counties will support
economic growth in County Galway. As a counter balance to the growth of the Greater Dublin Area,
the potential of the Atlantic Corridor was highlighted within the National Spatial Strategy.

Cork, Derry, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are located geographically on an arc running from Derry in the
North West to Waterford in the South East. Certain other strategically located large towns have the potential
capacity to act in conjunction with the existing gateways in delivering the scale of development necessary to
complement the economic strength of the cities and towns along the east coast. (Pg 42 National Spatial
Strategy 2002-2020)

County Galway’s location at the heart of this corridor must be capitalized on to ensure sustained economic
growth of the County.

Galway County Council will work with neighboring local authorities and regional bodies to progress
the economic development of the west coast. A number of initiatives, such as the reopening of the
Western Rail Corridor, are of regional importance that will strengthen the growth potential of the
region and its counties.

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   Economic Development Strategy                                                                                             Draft

                                                                                                                                                      Northeast Galway Development Zone

            West Galway Development Zone

                                                                         North South Corridor of Economic Development Zone
                                                                                                                             Regional Strategic
                                                                                                                             Development Zone
                                Gaeltacht Development Zone
                                                                                                                                                  East West Corridor of Economic Development Zone

Islands Development Zone

                                                                                                                                                            Southeast Galway Development Zone

                   Development Zones                Galway Gateway Facilities                                                                 Designated Hub Town

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      Economic Development Strategy                                                                  Draft

                                                                                                 Investment in Water and
                                                  Construction of Broadband                      Waste Infrastructure
          Investment in Road                      Fibre Networks in Towns                                                  Support of
          Infrastructure                                                                                                   development of
                                                                                                                           Enterprise Space

                                                                        Funding for Tourism Sector

                                                                                                                                          Ensuring adequate level
                                                                                                                                          of zoned commercial and
                                                                                                                                          industrial space

Moderate increases in
Commercial Rates
                                                                                                                                              Supporting the
                                                                                                                                              development of a
                                                                                                                                              regional enterprise
                                                                                                                                              cluster in the County

Environmental Protection
Programmes                                                                                                                                            Promotion of Towns
                                                                                                                                                      and Villages as
                                                                                                                                                      Enterprise locations
          Progress the                                                                                                                                and markets.
          Development of
          Western Rail Corridor

                                                                          Support for e-Galway                                                   Support for City and
                                                                          Initiative                                                             County Tourism Strategy
                           Promoting Arts, Cultural
                           activities and Language
                           throughout the County
                                                      Support the roll out of
                                                                                                                                   Progress the implementation of
                                                      the County and Group
                                                                                                     North East Galway             Transport 21
                                                      Broadband Scheme

      Galway County Council                                                            6
Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft

Galway County Council are committed to fostering a strong economy which will be vibrant, diverse,
creative and built on the strong knowledge and heritage resources that currently exist. This
Economic Strategy will ensure that the economy of the County continues to thrive and transform to
a modern knowledge based, internationally-focused economy of the future.

Rural economies are facing significant structural change at present and with further Common
Agricultural Policy reform and World Trade Agreements this is likely to continue into the future.
Following the trend of other developed economies, Irish rural society is diverging into two distinct
social and economic structures.

“Ireland now has two rural societies which are very different in respect to the challenges they face.
The first is urbanized and integrated into the global production and consumer society, while the
second is traditional and continues to face the challenges of migration and increasingly costly social
services….there must be two different approaches to these distinctly different challenges.” Professor
Michael Cuddy, Department of Economics, NUI, Galway.

This evolution of two new ‘societies’ is evident in County Galway. The former appears to be
polerised around the urban centres while the latter is more evident in the pheriperal areas of the
County. This dicotomy requires that organisations such as Galway County Council develop more
sophisticated strategies for rural development.

Corporate Commitment to Economic Development:

One of the six themes of our Corporate Plan 2005 - 2009 involves “Achieving Balanced and
Sustainable Development”. The aim of this theme is to:

Further develop the County in a balanced manner through the provision of essential
infrastructure and progressive planning that meets the needs of industry and communities.

The Core Objectives under this theme include:

Achieving Balanced Development through appropriate land use policy together with modern
transport and environmental infrastructure.

Promoting Economic Generation through sustainable growth to promote healthy communities in
rural areas, towns and villages where people can both live and work and further develop as a
modern, competitive location and attract industry.

Building Essential Infrastructure to improve competitiveness and enhance the social and
economic well-being of the County requires a continual programme of investment.

The Council has a mandate to ensure the provision of a range of essential infrastructure and
services throughout the County. A number of important policy documents are in place which guides
growth and development in a sustainable and equitable manner. The County Development Plan
2003 – 2009, together with the Ballinasloe Town Plan 2003 – 2009 aim to create a receptive
development environment and use of land in the public interest through a strategic approach to

The further development of the County will take place in tandem with implementation of the
National Spatial Strategy, the Regional Planning Guidelines, the Galway Transportation and
Planning Study, Regional Waste Management Plan, and the Retail Strategy which set out important
considerations for the management of sustainable development. The County Development Plan
seeks to provide for the growth in population through adopting the approach set-down in the
Countywide Settlement Strategy. The County Spatial Strategy prepared in tandem to this report will
provide a land use context for future development.

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Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft
Key Infrastructure Challenges Ahead:

Achieving balanced and sustainable development in County Galway will involve the designation of
two main infrastructural corridors spanning the length and breath of the County. This axis of
development has the potential to channel future growth to the more peripheral areas of the County
in the most sustainable manner possible. Achieving balanced and sustainable development in the
County will require modern transport, communications and access systems.

The completion of the N6 High Grade Dual Carriageway and the N17 / N18 north south axis in
association with the National Roads Authority and the Western Rail Corridor with Iarnrod Eireann
are essential for the development of transport infrastructure. The Integrated Transport Co-
ordinating Group established by the County Development Board will have an important role in
influencing the work of the local authority in partnership with others in this regard.

The rollout of broadband technology to towns and rural areas is another essential element in the
development of the County. The County Broadband and Enterprise Forum will aggressively pursue
further access to Broadband technology in partnership with Government. The provision of water
and wastewater services are guided by the Water Services Investment Programme and the 5
year Assessment of Needs report detailing a prioritised list of capital projects for water, wastewater
and sludge management schemes for the periods 2007-2012.

The water services needs of County Galway are substantial, requiring significant investment in the
short and medium term. The national Rural Water Programme sets out policies and priorities in the
Group Schemes Sector.

Economic Growth Drivers:

Traditionally, the mobility of capital was the main driver of economic growth. Many rural areas have
suffered as economies of scale have pushed capital investment in larger urban centres. In the
future, the mobility of knowledge will be a significant driver of economic growth.

‘Knowledge Economies’ are dependent on researchers, innovators, creators and entrepreneurs.
While the location of capital is largely determined on the investment return, the location of human
based knowledge is determined by a combination of quality of life and investment return. To be
effective in securing the sustainable economic development of all areas in County Galway it is
imperative that necessary infrastructure is put in place to maximize areas connectivity.

County Development Plan 2003 – 2009

The stated aims of the County Development Plan include to create a receptive development
environment in anticipation of a transfer of investment funding and employment opportunity from
the East coast as part of the National Spatial Strategy and to recognise Galway City as a location
with the potential to attract investment both to the City and to the County, with mutually beneficial
consequences, if managed and planned properly.

National Development Plan 2007-2013

This Economic Strategy will operate within the funding envelope of the new National Development
Plan 2007-2013. “This National Development Plan integrates strategic development frameworks for
regional development, for rural communities, for all-island co-operation, and for protection of the
environment with common economic and social goals” – (Page 15, Ireland – National Development
Plan 2007-2013, Government Publications Office, Dublin 2007)
The five priority areas within the National Development Plan are outlined as follows
Economic Infrastructure
Enterprise, Science and Innovation,
Human Capital
Social Infrastructure
Social Inclusion

These priority investment areas correlate closely with the intervention themes outlined
below in the Economic Strategy of Galway County Council.

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Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft
Economic Development Partners:

Galway County Council is very aware that in pursuing a strategy to sustain economic development
it must engage in meaningful partnership with other economic, social and development agencies.
Galway County Development Board is the primary mechanism to be used to achieve high levels of
partnership with external agencies. Galway County Council have consulted extensively with partner
organisations within the County Development Board and in particular, acknowledges and supports
the role of Udaras na Gaeltachta for economic development of the Gaeltacht area of the County
and will continue to work in partnership with Udaras na Gaeltachta.


                       Sustaining communities, maintaining language

                       To promote a more competitive and inclusive knowledge-based economy,
                       in collaboration with our stakeholders, by enhancing the skills and
                       capabilities of individuals and enterprises.

                     To accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve
                     strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional

                     To make Galway the leading location for business, investment and people

                   To promote an enterprise culture throughout Galway County and
                 City. By doing so we improve the economy of our county and keep employment
                 opportunities high for the people who live here.

                     Responsibility for securing new investment from overseas in manufacturing
                     and internationally traded services sectors.

                       To provide an independent and authoritative research knowledge base,
                       technology transfer and training services for the sustainable development
                       of agriculture and the food processing industry to enable it to respond
                       profitably to consumer demands and requirements and contribute to a
                       vibrant rural economy and society”.

                       To increase the contribution of tourism to the economy by facilitating the
                       development of a competitive and profitable tourism industry (Fáilte

                       Providing leadership at national, regional and local levels, and with a
                       particular commitment to the Gaeltacht regions and the Irish language

                       At GMIT we develop life-long learning opportunities through our teaching
                       and research and by supporting regional development.

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Economic Development Strategy                                                           Draft
Thematic Approach to Economic Development

Galway County Council delivers a range of services, programmes and activities that directly or
indirectly support economic growth, from large scale construction projects to equally important
advisory services on issues such as environmental impacts or planning or supports for enterprise.
The Economic Development Strategy of Galway County Council will be delivered through the
following themes.

      Developing Infrastructure
      Promotion of County Galway
      Fostering Innovation
      Strategic Planning
      Supporting Employment Creators
      Human Resources and Social

Economic Development Strategy Themes:


             Promotion                                                   Strategic
             of County                                                   Planning


              Developing                                                 Supporting
             Infrastructure                                             Employment

                                           and Social

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Economic Development Strategy        Draft



Galway County Council           11
Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft

1.1.1 Our Location

                                                    County Galway is located on the West Coast
                                                    of Ireland at a central location along the
                                                    Western Economic Corridor stretching from
                                                    Cork in the South Northwards to Sligo. This
                                                    corridor also incorporates the Shannon-
                                                    Limerick economic region.
                                                    At 6,149km , County Galway is Ireland’s
                                                    second largest county after Cork with a
                                                    coastline stretching to almost 2,000
                                                    kilometres. Blessed with a landscape of
                                                    extraordinary beauty and rich cultural
                                                    heritage, Galway has over 200 lakes
                                                    including the Lough Corrib. The Irish
                                                    language and culture, and the physical
                                                    landscape provide the County with a special
                                                    and unique cultural identity. Galway has the
largest Gaeltacht population in Ireland containing 37% of the national Gaeltacht population.

Like the rest of Ireland, County Galway has undergone rapid change in the nature of
employment of inhabitants. The origin of employment has shifted dramatically from a situation in
1986 where agriculture accounted for 35% of employment in the County. By 2002 this had
dropped to 11.2% and it was the sectors of Manufacturing, Commerce, Professional Services
and Other Industries that are providing the majority of employment in the County. These sectors
are also providing the strongest employment growth rates. Tourism is a also key industry in
Galway, both County and City. The County has moved from a producer economy to a service
economy in a relatively short period.

The County has a predominately dispersed rural population with only three centres of
population large enough to be categorised towns at a national level. The County is undergoing
significant change. Migration towards Galway City and its rural hinterland is placing an
increasing demand on infrastructure and services, while some remote rural areas are
experiencing decline and depopulation. In 2002, 76 % of the popualtion lived in rural areas,
towns and villages of less than 500 people.

1.1.2 Our Economic Base and Workforce

Galway County and City also have strong indigenous clusters of enterprise development in the
fields of biomedical engineering, pharmaceuticals and in software development and electronics.

Traditional industries in the County have been agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, fishing and
tourism. Industrial development has tended to cluster around Galway City. Farms are generally
small, so part-time farming is the norm as people try to supplement their farm income with
income from other work. Tourism supplies seasonal employment in Connemara and the

In total, there are over 70 overseas IDA supported companies with operations in the West
region, employing about 13,000 people. Their sectoral focus includes life sciences (mainly
medical technologies) accounting for 63% of IDA client company employment, information &
communication technologies with 17%, engineering with 13% and international services with
7%. IDA has a network of world-class Business & Technology Parks in the West. These parks
are fully serviced with all the necessary telecommunications and utilities infrastructure to cater
for the needs of overseas clients.

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The West Regional Authority have highlighted a number of sectors in the Region that have not
reached their full potential. These include water-based facilities/industries domestic and sectoral
tourism, sporting and recreational facilities and further promotion of the development of
indigenous based industries. Marine Biology and Marine based industry is another sector that
has been highlighted as a key growth sector. The Marine Institute has its headquarters based in
County Galway and this is also a key research area for both third level institutions GMIT and
NUI, Galway.

“The aquaculture sector in the West Region has grown significantly in the last decade.
Production is concentrated along the western seaboard. Fishing, fish processing, transport,
aquaculture and related activities generate significant employment and are sectors that are
likely to experience considerable growth and contribute greatly to the economy of rural areas in
the future. There is a need to develop fishery harbour infrastructure and aquaculture activities
beyond primary production as well as developing fishery coastal and harbour facilities to reduce
the isolation of island communities.” (West Regional Authority)

1.1.3 Our Information and Communications Technology

                      A broadband fibre-optic link between Dublin and Galway is in place and
                      this is now capable of giving greater capability for businesses in the
                      Galway region to compete on the international markets. Galway County
                      Council is currently constructing fibre optic “Metropolitan Area Networks”
                      [MANs] in Athenry, Ballinasloe, Clifden, Gort, and Loughrea. An
                      application for the development of a MAN in Tuam has been submitted to
                      Government to be considered under the next phase of the programme.

Under the County and Group Broadband Scheme approval has been given by the Minister for
Broadband schemes in the following locations:-
◙ Athenry & Craughwell                 ◙ Aran Islands           ◙ Clarinbridge
◙ Dunmore                              ◙ Kinvara                ◙ Letterfrack
◙ Moycullen                            ◙ Mountbellew            ◙ Oughterard
◙ Williamstown                         ◙ Oranmore, Carnmore
◙ the Cois Fharraige Gaelteacht        ◙ Cleggan & Claddaghduff
◙ Ahascragh, Taghmaconnell and Clonbrock

The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs announced a call for broadband
proposals in Clár areas, which has been placed by the Department of Communications, Marine
and Natural Resources on behalf of his Department. The locations identified in County Galway
are:- Clifden and the Carna Industrial Estate.

1.1.4 Our Energy Resources

Electricity Supply

                  The County is served through the national grid providing supplies at 10/20 KV; 38
                  KV; 110 KV and at 220 KV. Plans are in place to upgrade and further improve
                  supplies within the County. A new power station, powered by natural gas, was
                  commissioned in 2006. It is operated by Tynagh Energy Ltd.


                  Natural gas is recognised as the cleanest fossil fuel. In 2000 natural gas
                  accounted for 37% of the fuel mix for electricity; it is projected to account for 56%
                  of this by 2010. Bord Gais is currently working on a substantial investment
                  programme designed to expand the existing natural Gas transmission network,
                  with the new ‘Pipelines to the West’. This has created a ring main and allows
                  Galway city and Ballinasloe to be connected to the gas network. Bord Gais has

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recently announced that the Towns of Athenry, Craughwell, Headford and Tuam are to be
connected to the distribution network. The towns of Gort, Loughrea and Portumna will be consider
for connection in phase 2. Wind energy is also a growth area for energy generation.

Waste Management

                        The Connacht Region Waste Management Replacement Plan has been
                        developed by the local authorities of Galway City and County, Leitrim,
                        Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo and covers the period from 2005 to 2010.
                        The 2001 Plan adopted a regional approach to integrated waste
                        management based on the waste hierarchy established in the EU
                        Framework Directive on Waste and set the
                        following targets for 2013 for municipal waste in the Region:

Progress in Plan Implementation
Significant progress has been made towards the regional municipal recycling target by reaching a
municipal recycling rate of 29% in 2004. This can be attributed to the expansion of segregated
collection of dry recyclables, the provision of additional bring banks and the increased network of
recycling centres. The achievements in waste prevention, minimisation and recycling have
improved since the appointment of Environmental Awareness Officers by the local authorities.

- Water Supply and Waste Water

                     Galway County Council provides a broad range of services and arguably two
                     of the most important are the provision of a potable water supply and the
                     collection and safe disposal of wastewater. As well as planning for the future,
                     the Council operates 46 public water supply schemes and 26 sewerage
                     schemes. As part of our programme for the provision of new facilities the
                     Council proposes to rationalise and renew these existing facilities. There are
                     also 177 Group Water Schemes taking a supply from public water supply
                     schemes serving 15% of the population and a further 454 schemes serving
27.6% of the population using a variety of private supplies.

1.1.5 Our Transport Networks

International Access

                        Galway Airport has up to 5 daily commuter flights to Dublin. There are also
                        daily services to Luton in London, and to Manchester, Edinburgh. Flights to
                        the Isle of Man, Paris CDG and Lorient in France, Malaga in Spain are also
                        available seasonally. Galway Regional Airport is located at Carnmore to the
                        east of the City and Aerfort Chonamara, is at Indreabhán. In addition the
                        islands of Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr have an airstrip. Development
Plans for the airport at Carnmore include an extension to the runway to facilitate 100 seater planes
and provide international air access.

The international Airports in Shannon and Knock are within one hours drive from County Galway.
Access times to these Airports are continuing to reduce with the improvement of the Road and
Public Transport network.

                    Galway Port has regular shipping traffic for both coal and oil. The port authority
                    is also developing opportunities for other bulk products e.g. Steel; Liquid
                    bitumen. The Authority has also recently developed an enterprise park in the
                    port area of 40 acres, and plans are in place to increase this by an additional
                    32 acres. Ships of up to 10,000 dwt can be catered for in the harbour where
                    there are up to 11 berths available.

There are over 240 piers and harbours in Galway. The county has five main fishing ports: Ros A’
Mhíl, Kilronan, Cleggan, Kilkerrin and Kinvara. Ros A’ Mhíl is one of the top five passenger and fish

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Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft
landing harbours in the Country. Ferries to the Aran Islands operate from Ros A’ Mhíl, carrying
150,000 passengers annually. Galway and Cleggan Ports also serve the offshore islands. There
are plans to expand the ferry berth and deepen the harbour at Ros A’ Mhíl as part of a €25 million
development of the harbour.

National Access

                      A High Quality Dual carriageway/motorway between Dublin and Galway (N6)
                      is currently under construction. Preparatory work on the section between
                      Ballinasloe and Galway (56Kms) has commenced and it is expected that the
                      project will be completed in 2009. Further improvements to the N17 north to
                      Sligo and the N18 south to Limerick are progressing through the planning

                      Galway City has up to 7 trains daily to/from Dublin. It is proposed to increase
                      the frequency of the service to Dublin. There is also an early morning and
                      late evening commuter service between Athlone and Galway. The Rail link
                      between Ennis and Limerick to the South and Mayo to the North is being
                      reopened with the first services expected to be on stream by 2009.

1.1.6 Our Education Services

                      The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI,G) and Galway Mayo
                      Institute of Technology (GMIT) provide third level education to the region.
                      Both colleges have outreach centres in the County. County Galway
                      Vocational Education Committee (VEC) provides vocational and community
                      education programmes. FÁS provides specific skills training, employer
                      services and a range of community-based training and employment
                      opportunities throughout the County. Galway County has over 200 primary
                      schools and 37 second-level schools.

1.1.7 Our Health Services

The main hospitals serving County Galway are naturally located in Galway City in the centre of the
County. These include two public hospitals and two private hospitals, (University College Hospital,
Merlin Park Hospital, Galvia Hospital and The Galway Clinic), as well as 2 public and 2 private
nursing homes and 3 psychiatric day facilities. Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe provides some
acute care services including a maternity hospital in the east of the county.

St Brigid’s Hospital in Ballinasloe provides psychiatric services, however this hospital is being
phased out. Clifden has a day hospital for the elderly, and can provide x-ray analysis on-line. There
are 57 local health centres throughout the County. Services to remote communities and offshore
islands are facilitated by local health centres. New developments in the Heath Services Executive
West area include a GP co-operative (WestDoc) to meet out-of –hour’s requests and rural needs. A
pilot primary day care centre is being developed in Tuam to provide better access to health care
services at a community level.

1.1.8 Our Cultural Resources

                Galway County possesses a rich and diverse cultural heritage. This identity is
                expressed in many ways: in the language that people speak, folklore and folklife,
                museums and archives, genealogy and local history, the arts and crafts they
                practice, the festivals they celebrate, the games they play, the buildings they create
                and the location in which they live.

Galway has Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht area within its county boundaries stretching from the Corrib
through the perimeter of the city and westwards to beyond Carna. The Galway Gaeltacht has a total
population of 45,900 of whom approximately 12,500 reside within the city boundaries. The Galway
Gaeltacht is characterised by a traditional settlement pattern based on its largely coastal economy.

Galway County Council                            15
Economic Development Strategy                                                                    Draft
The Gaeltacht is a place apart – a distinctive region where Irish is the community language and a
unique and vibrant cultural community exists. The County Development Plan 2003 – 2009 contains
a number of policy objectives aimed at preserving and promoting the Gaeltacht in the planning

1.1.9 Our Housing Stock

                    In 2002, there were 45,253 private households in the County with estimates that
                    this figure is in excess of 52,000 in 2006. Housing demand is strongest in an
                    area within a radius of 20 km of Galway City. House prices are generally higher
                    the closer to Galway City with the highest prices in smaller exclusive areas on
                    the fringes particularly between the City and Barna/Moycullen areas.

                  Galway County Council is the Housing Authority for the entire County except for
                  the administrative area of Ballinasloe Town Council. The total local authorities
have a housing stock of 1901 Units. The total Voluntary housing stock in the County is 387.

In the Housing Capital Programme, 2006 to 2008, it is proposed to construct 845 houses in the
following categories: Social 467, Voluntary 178, and Affordable 200. This increase in the number
of households is due to population growth and the decrease in average household size which will
fall from 3.20 to 2.95 over the same period.

Due to the rural nature of the County, the majority of new residential developments consist of
detached houses with urban style units – such as terraced houses and apartments - accounting for
only a very small proportion of that development. From an examination of the statistics for County
Galway it is clear that in recent years development by the private sector has dominated residential
completions in the County, although in recent years the role played by the public and voluntary
sectors has increased.

1.1.10 Our Quality of Life

                      A recently published survey by UCD indicated that County Galway was one of
                      the Counties with the highest subjective well-being scores in Ireland. The
                      analysis of well-being in Ireland is interesting due to the record growth of the
                      ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy and its ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit
                      (2004) as first in its quality of life league table for 2005. Work analysing the
                      determinants of subjective well-being at UCD utilises data from a survey of a
                      nationally representative sample of 1,500 men and women, aged 18 and over
and living in Ireland, interviewed in 2001 combined with ‘objective’ environmental and other
datasets. The survey found a high well-being in general in Ireland with an average of 5.5 on the
seven-point scale. Figure 4 shows variations in subjective well-being in Ireland. It illustrates that life
satisfaction is above average in the local authority areas of Galway, Wicklow and Tipperary South,
average in Mayo, Sligo and Meath and below average in the local authority areas of Dublin City,
and Dublin South (see the map below for a National comparison).

1.1.11 Our Surroundings

Galway County Council                              16
Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft

Atlantic Gateway and Atlantic Way

The Atlantic Gateways Initiative aims to establish greater levels of connectivity and synergies
between Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford across areas such as economic development,
physical infrastructure as well as social and cultural development.

The basic premise of the concept is that by co-operation in relevant areas, the development
potential of all of the four gateways will be enhanced. The role of Galway City is this initiative is
quite clear, while the potential and contribution of the County can be viewed more from a supportive

                                                   The Atlantic Way Group are seeking to
                                                   maximize and accelerate the sustainable and
                                                   co-ordinated development of the Galway –
                                                   Limerick / Shannon corridor by supporting and
                                                   promoting best practice in every aspect of its
                                                   economic and social life.

                                                    Its principal aim is to bring coherence,
                                                    coordination and a sense of urgency to
                                                    infrastructural    development, excellent
technological services, quality employment, lifelong education and quality of life.

Galway Gateway

                                           Galway City is a focal point for economic development
                                           and innovation in the region. The City exerts a significant
                                           influence on the County and Region. A growing number
                                           of people commute to the City for work and education
                                           and a number of key services are centralised in the City.

                                           While the level and quality of infrastructure and services
                                           in the City acts as a resource to the County there is a
                                           need to continue investment in infrastructure and
                                           services to attract economic and residential development
                                           to other parts of the County. Galway City area has a
                                           significant population catchment, quality of life,
                                           attractions, transport connections and a capacity for
                                           innovation given the concentration of third level

It is envisaged that links between the city and the neighbouring settlements and the wider region
will be improved and upgraded to ensure the provision of good quality road and public transport


The Regional Hub - TUAM

                              A variation for inclusion in the County Development Plan was adopted
                              in 2006 as a comprehensive statement on Tuam as the hub town in the
                              County taking forward its designation under the National Spatial
                              Strategy. The recently adopted Local Area Plan for Tuam, 2005-2011,
                              has provided sufficient zoned lands in Tuam to cater for future
                              population increases. The population growth figures for the County and
                              Tuam hub town have been revised and this would indicate that a
                              population of approximately 10,000 people will be living within the
                              Tuam Local Plan Area by 2011. This may well be surpassed if the
                              opportunities arising from its hub status are optimized and the
population growth identified in the National Spatial Strategy is realized. The town of Tuam has the
capacity to realize a population of 15,000 -20,000 over a 15-20 year period.

Galway County Council                            17
Economic Development Strategy                                                                  Draft
The main infrastructure requirements for the hub of Tuam are:
   - Improvements to water network within the town.
   - Deliver on objectives for amenity, town centre and urban renewal.
   - Provide extensions to the service land initiatives for industrial sites.
   - Deliver on the bypass route.
   - Provide the rail station and western rail line to Athenry and Galway.
   - Provide broadband for the town.
   - Provide sport and recreational facilities.
   - Provide travel centre/multi-modal centre adjacent to rail station for bus and passenger
   - Provide inner relief roads.
   - New library and civic centre.
   - Provide gas pipeline connection.
   - Up grade the connections to Tuam along Atlantic Corridor by Road and Rail.
   - Rail line from Tuam to Athenry and north to Claremorris.

Second tier towns

Towns and villages have always played an important role in the economic development of their
rural hinterland and this will continue to be the case in the knowledge economy. If capital can be
seen to be the blood of a rural economy, a town is the mechanism for pumping and redistributing
capital around the hinterland. The benefit for rural hinterlands from towns is more than spillover
effect, towns can be the driver of economic growth of rural areas if the town is growing and
economically strong and the businesses in the rural hinterland are able to identify and harness the
potential that a growing town provides.

Growing prosperous towns are crucial to ensuring economic well-being and quality of life.
Residential growth should be directed to the towns of the County where services, facilities and
employment opportunities outside Galway City are concentrated. Ballinasloe, Tuam, Loughrea,
Athenry, Gort, Oranmore and Clifden are successful towns, which also need to be supported by
policies promoting growth. Directing new growth to established towns underpins the economic role
of the towns to provide a good quality of life, not just for townspeople but also for families living in
the surrounding countryside. (County Development Plan)

There is an even spread of towns throughout the County offering the potential to balance economic
growth. The challenge is to strengthen the position of each town while maximizing their connectivity
and links with national and global economies. The unique attributes and geography of our towns
mean that they are not necessarily in competition with one another, but all need to be supported in
order to maximize their individual and collective potential.

Key Population Centres:
Town                          2002 CSO              2006 CSO
                              Population            Population
Tuam (Urban / Rural)            5947                  6885
Ballinasloe                     5,984                 6,158

Loughrea (Urban)                 4,004                 4,532
Oranmore                         1,692                 3,513

Athenry                          2,154                 3,205
Gort                             1,776                 2,734
Clifden                          1,355                 1,497
Portumna                         1,235                 1,377
Oughterard                       1,209                 1,305
Moycullen                         883                  1,237

Table 3. Key Population Centres in County Galway (CSO defined towns)

Galway County Council                             18
Economic Development Strategy                                                                                         Draft

1.2.1 General Demographics
The population of County Galway recorded in the 2006 preliminary census data was 159,052
persons representing an increase of 15,807 since 2002 or an increase of 11 % which is above the
corresponding national average of 8.1 % and higher than the growth rate in Galway City at 9.3 %.
Based on 2002 census data, 15.4 % of the population lived in aggregate town areas with 84.6% of
people living in aggregate rural areas.

The majority of growth in population between 1996 and 2002 was focused in areas within a 20 mile
radius of Galway City. It is expected that 2006 census data will also indicate a continuation of this

Economic growth in Ireland impacted on the economic situation in County Galway between 1991
and 2002 in the following ways;

         The Labour force increased by 27.5%.
         The numbers in employment have increased by 15,501.
         Unemployment decreased by 25% from 6,406 to 4,815.
          There was an improvement in ‘Absolute Affluence’ of 15.4 points (which is the same level
          of improvement as the State average for the corresponding timeframe)
         County Galway had a lower unemployment rate than the State or Galway City in 2002.

Some demographics highlighted in the 2005 Poverty Profile prepared by Galway County Council
confirm the emergence of two different types of rural societies and economies.

         There is a considerably higher rate of age dependency in rural areas.
         The more peripheral areas have the highest rates of unemployment, with a number of
          DEDs having a high unemployment rate clustered around An Ceathrú Rua, Rosmuc and
          Carna and further to the west of the County.
         The County Has a slightly lower percentage of the ‘Higher and Lower Professional’ classes
          than nationally or in Galway City.
         The highest numbers of those in the combined professional social classes are to be found
          in the DED’s closest to Galway City, West to Oughterard, east as far Athenry, southeast as
          far as Loughrea and south to Kinvara.

1.2.2 Change in Labour Force in County Galway
In the 11 years between 1991 and 2002, the labour force in County Galway increased by 27.5%
from 48,993 persons to 62,472 persons. This significant increase was supported by an additional
15,501 persons at work in 2002. In these years, a vibrant local economy provided employment for
2,022 persons who were unemployed or seeking their first job and a further 13,479 persons who
entered the labour force, representing significant growth in employment.

The number of people unemployed in 1991 was 6,406 representing 13% of the labour force. By
2002, the numbers unemployed had dropped by 1,591 to 4,815 representing a decrease of 24.8%
and resulting in a reduction of the unemployed labour force to 8%. The growth of the local economy

1 Aggregate Town and Aggregate Rural Areas
The population in the Aggregate Town Area is defined as those persons living in population clusters of 1,500 or more
inhabitants. The population residing in all areas outside clusters of 1,500 or more inhabitants is classified as belonging to the
Aggregate Rural Area. (CSO 2003.)
2 Absolute Affluence
A figure for the Affluence of an Area is constructed based on a combination of values from the three dimensions of social
disadvantage; Demographic Decline, Social Class Disadvantage and Labour Market Deprivation.

Galway County Council                                         19
Economic Development Strategy                                                                            Draft
is leading to the development of increased levels of new employment and this has attracted
additional numbers into the labour force.

                                         Employment Change in County Galway



               40000                                                                           labour Force
                                                                                               At work
                                                                                               1st time job seekers
               30000                                                                           Unemployed



                              1991                         1996                         2002

                                                       Census Years

Figure 1.1: Employment Change in County Galway between 1991 and 2002

                                                 Analysis of Labour Force 1991


                       1st time job seekers

                                                                              At work

Figure 1.2: Analysis of the labour force in County Galway in 1991

                                                 Analysis of Labour Force 2002

                                1st time job seekers

                                                                        At work

Figure 1.3: Analysis of the labour force in County Galway in 2002 Female Participation in the labour force.

A major element of the growth in the labour force is due to increased participation by females with a
signification amount of the increased participation arising from a reduction in females involved in
‘home duties’. In 1986, the numbers of females involved in ‘home duties’ was 24,756. By 2002, this
figure had reduced by 8,653 to 16,103. This would indicate that roughly half the growth in those at

Galway County Council                                             20
Economic Development Strategy                                                                                    Draft
work came from women transferring to working outside the home. In 1986, the percentage of
females aged 15 and over who were ‘working in the home’ was 55.8%. By 2002, this figure had
reduced to 29.8%.

                      Persons aged 15 years and over by principal economic








                               1986                 1991                            1996                  2002

              At Work                          Looking for firs t regular job               Unem ployed
              Student                          Hom e Duties                                 Retired
              Unable to Work                   Other

Figure 1.4: Analysis of population of County Galway aged 15 and over by principle economic status

                  Males aged 15 years and over by principal economic status










                             1986               1991                       1996                       2002

                 A t Work                       Looking f or f irst regular job        Unemployed
                 Student                           e
                                                Hom Duties                             Retired
                 Unable to Work                 Other

Figure 1.5: Analysis of male population of County Galway aged 15 and over by principal economic status

                      Females aged 15 years and over classified by principal
                                       economic status








                             1986                  1991                           1996                    2002
                                                                  Ye ar

                  A t Work                       Looking f or f irs t regular job          Unemploy ed
                  Student                        Home Duties                               Retired
                  Unable to Work                 Other

Figure 1.6: Analysis of the female population of County Galway aged 15 and over by principal economic status Source of Employment

The growth sectors in employment are varied. The nature of the workforce in County Galway has
undergone significant restructuring over the last 20 years. County Galway has followed the national
trend of moving from an agricultural based economy to a knowledge based one. Between 1986 and
2002, the numbers at work in agriculture in County Galway decreased from 14,317 to 6,415

Galway County Council                                       21
Economic Development Strategy                                                                                                                 Draft
representing a decline of 55%. During the same time period employment grew in other sectors to
more than compensate for this loss. The chart below outlines the change in nature of the workforce.
                                                      Employment change by Industry

  Numbers employed







                             1986                                      1991                         1996                               2002

                                                                              Census Years
                                    Agriculture,forestry and fishing                   Manufacturing industries
                                    Building and construction                          Commerce, insurance, finance and business services
                                    Transport, communication and storage               Public administration and defence
                                    Professional services                              other industries

Figure 1.7: Employment change by Industry in County Galway from 1986 to 2002

The change in the sectors of employment between 1986 and 2002 are outlined below with the total
workforce increasing by 41.2% between these years.

                                                                 1986             2002              Change                  % Change
Agriculture                                                     14,317           6,415               -7,902                  -55.2%
Manufacturing                                                   6,931            9,814               2,883                   +42.0%
Building and Construction                                       3,142            6,835               3,693                  +117.5%
Commerce                                                        5,637            11,282              5,645                  +100.1%
Transport                                                       1,235            2,305               1,070                   +87.0%
Public Administration                                           1,217            2,490               1,219                    +96%
Professional                                                    5,771            9,847               4,076                    +71%
Other Industry                                                  2,093            8,034               5,941                   +284%
                                                                40,397           57,022             +16,625                   41.2%
Table 1: Sources of employment in County Galway 1986 and 2002

The share of the 41.2% growth varies from sector to sector. While Building and Construction
increased by 117.5% in the numbers employed, within the sector itself it only contributed to 16% of
the overall growth. Warnings from international and national bodies of our overdependence on the
construction sector for employment growth must be accepted in the context that other sectors such
as, ‘Other (New) Industries’, and ‘Commerce, Insurance and Business Services’ are more
significant drivers of the growth in employment, and in County Galway represent 24% and 23%,
respectively, of the growth of employment.

Sector                                                                                                1986-2002 growth rate
Other Industries                                                                                              24%
Commerce, Insurance and Business Services                                                                     23%
Professional Services                                                                                         17%
Building and Construction                                                                                     16%
Manufacturing                                                                                                 12%
Table 2: Analysis of growth in employment 1986-2002

The impact of this change can be seen when the share of the workforce is analyzed. In 1986
agriculture was the dominant industry with 37% of those at work involved in Agriculture. By 2002
this had declined to 11%.

Galway County Council                                                           22
Economic Development Strategy                                                                                                                                                                Draft
                                                               Percentage of those at work by industry 1986

                                             Professional services                      other industries
                                                     14%                                       5%

                    Public administration and defence                                                                                                  Agriculture,forestry and fishing
                                   3%                                                                                                                                37%
              Transport, communication and storage

                       Commerce, insurance, finance and
                            business services
                                                        Building and construction                                           Manufacturing industries
                                                                   7%                                                                17%

Figure 1.8: Analysis of employment in County Galway in 1986

                                                               Percentage of those at work by industry 2002

                                                                     other industries                                       Agriculture,forestry and fishing
                                                                           14%                                                            11%

                                                                                                                                                          Manufacturing industries
                                    Professional services                                                                                                          17%

                          Public administration and defence
                                         4%                                                                                                         Building and construction
                             Transport, communication and storage
                                             4%                                          Commerce, insurance, finance and
                                                                                              business services

Figure 1.9: Analysis of employment in County Galway in 2002

The sector now providing work for most people living in County Galway is Commerce, Insurance,
Finance and Business Services. The County has moved from a producer economy to a service
economy in a relatively short period. Between 1996 and 2002, there was strong growth in the
numbers at work from 45,934 to 57,022. Figure B1 in the appendices outlines where this growth
has been manifested in more detail.

As people have been displaced from working in agriculture there have been implications for
lifestyles with the distances that people travel to work increasing. Between 1996 and 2002, the
numbers traveling 15 miles or more almost doubled from 14% in 1996 to 23% in 2002. 45% of the
workforce in 1996 traveled between 0-3 miles to work. This dropped to 32% in 2002. Given that
commuting times have also increased in this period due to traffic congestion we can presume that
the time that those at work are away from home is dramatically increasing.
                                                                     Commuting distances in County Galway



                                                                                                                                                                                          0-3 miles

            20000                                                                                                                                                                         3-5 miles
                                                                                                                                                                                          5-9 miles
            15000                                                                                                                                                                         10-14 miles
                                                                                                                                                                                          15+ miles


                                                         1996                                                                                 2002

Figure 1.11: Analysis of commuting distances of those living in County Galway in 1996 and 2002.

Galway County Council                                                                                        23
Economic Development Strategy                                                                                                                                 Draft

The nature of the agricultural sector has further changed. While there has been decline in those at
work in all farm sizes, the changes have not been consistent across all farm sizes.
                               Changes in Labour Force in Farming in County Galway 1991-


                                                                                                                                            Farmers < 30 acres
                                                                                                                                            Farmers 30-49 acres
                                                                                                                                            Farmers 50+ acres
                                                                                                                                            Other ag


                                         1991                                       1996                     2002

Figure 1.12: Analysis of numbers employed on farms of different sizes in County Galway between 1991 and 2002

Between 1991 and 1996, farmers working with more than 50 acres seemed to be reversing the
trends of decline that the smaller farmers were facing. However, between 1996 and 2002 even
these larger farms could not sustain levels of employment and suffered similar significant drops in
the labour force as the other sectors of farm size.

Further analysis of those ‘at work’ indicates that, in stark contrast to the national situation, the
majority live in rural areas. Only 14% of those ‘at work’ live in a town of 1,500 or more. This
contrasts with the national situation where 61% of those at work live in a town of 1,500 or more.
The workforce live mainly in rural areas or in towns or villages with less than 1,500 persons. The
commuting data outlined above would also support the suggestion that people are increasingly
commuting into urban areas for employment.
                                                                        Residence of those at work in County Galway

                                                Industry not stated

           Other community, social and personal service activities

                                            Health and social w ork


                                 Public administration and def ence

                       Real Estate, renting and business activities

                                    Banking and f inancial services

                           Transport, storage and communications

                                            Hotels and restaurants

                                        w holesale and retail trade


                                 Electricity, gas, and w ater supply

                                          Manuf acturing Industries

                         Mining, quarrying and and turf production

                                  Agriculture, f orestry and f ishing

                                                                        0    1000      2000   3000    4000        5000        6000   7000       8000   9000     10000
                                                                                                             Those at w ork

                                                                                                              Rural   Urban

Figure 1.13: Location of residence of those at work in County Galway in 2002

Galway County Council                                                                            24
Economic Development Strategy                                                                                                                                              Draft
                                                                                   Residence of those at work in the State

                                                               Industry not stated

                          Other community, social and personal service activities

                                                           Health and social w ork


                                                Public administration and def ence

                                      Real Estate, renting and business activities

                                                   Banking and f inancial services

                                          Transport, storage and communications

                                                           Hotels and restaurants

                                                       w holesale and retail trade


                                                Electricity, gas, and w ater supply

                                                         Manuf acturing Industries

                                        Mining, quarrying and and turf production

                                                 Agriculture, f orestry and f ishing

                                                                                       0       50000          100000          150000           200000     250000          300000
                                                                                                                       Those at Work

                                                                                                                         Rural         Urban
Figure 1.14 Location of residence of those at work in Ireland in 2002

Between 1996 and 2002, the percentage of those at work who were an “employer or own account
worker” declined from 19.6% to 16.8%. The decline in employment in farming has been the main
cause of this and when the situation without those at work in farming is examined, the percentage
of those at work who were an “employer or own account worker” remained constant at 13%. This
figure is comparable with the UK and is well above the average for the US of 7% (2003). The
danger is that as additional numbers leave the agricultural sector they will lose their entrepreneurial

                                                                                       Employment Status in County Galway

   Nature of Employment

                                             Assisting relative


                          Employer or ow n account w orker

                                                                    0              5000    10000   15000      20000   25000    30000      35000   40000   45000   50000

                                                                                                           Numbers in labour force

Figure 1.15: Employment Status of those at work in County Galway in 1996 and 2002

1.2.3 Migrant Workers
The 2002 census recorded 23,218 persons who were resident in Galway County and City but were
born outside the State. This represents 11.4% of the population.

Given that the number of PPS numbers issued to citizens from the accession states of the EU
annually has increased from an average of 9,000 per annum in 2002 and 2003 to 59,000 in 2004
and by August 2005 had reached 75,000, we can assume that the percentage of migrant workers in
County Galway has significantly increased.

Galway County Council                                                                                            25
Economic Development Strategy                                                                               Draft

                  Persons usually resident in Galway County and City classified by
                                          birthplace 2002
                                               Othe r Europe an
                                                  Countrie s
                              Gre at Britain                        1%
                                                                           Re s t of the World
         Northe rn Ire land                                                         2%

          Othe r County


Figure 1.16: Origin of residents of Galway County and City in 2002.

Over 54% of immigrants have a third level qualification which is twice the comparative figure for the
native population. A recent submission to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment by the
Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and Forfás, “Skills needs in the Irish Economy: The role of
migration”, highlighted the current underutilization of the skills of this population.

            “Over 54% of immigrants have a third level qualification compared with just 27
            % of the native population. Nevertheless, despite such impressive standards of
            education attainment amongst the non-national population, evidence exists
            which suggests that highly qualified immigrants are not being employed at a
            level that reflects their educational status.”(Skills needs in the Irish Economy)

This data indicates that there is a significant potential within the migrant community that could be
harnessed as part of the future economic growth of the County. Another opportunity that this
growing community offers is linkages to emerging markets in the accession countries. Irish
enterprise needs to build linkages with accession country markets and producers.

 1.2.4 Enterprise in County Galway
The growth in the economy of County Galway has been mirrored by an increase in valuations of
ratable holdings. The Annual Rate is determined by the Council, as an integral part of the statutory
budget process, and applied to the valuations of ratable holdings. The total County valuation on
which rates were levied for 2006 was €261,100 an increase of €22,100 from 2005 and a 69 %
increase in the commercial base over the last 8 years. Analysis of the types of ratable businesses
indicates that in all the major sectors, Tourism, Services, Retail and Manufacturing, there was a
steady growth in the numbers of businesses operating between 2004 and 2006. See figure 1.16
below. The sources of growth in the electoral areas differ as outlined in table 3.

Electoral Area                                                    Main Sectors for growth
Ballinasloe                                                       Public Services and Retail
Conamara                                                          Retail
Loughrea                                                          Services
Oranmore                                                          Services
Tuam                                                              Retail
Table 4: Source of Growth in Ratable Businesses in County Galway by Electoral Area between 2004 and 2006.

Galway County Council                                         26
Economic Development Strategy                                                                               Draft

                                Ratable properties in County Galway
                         2004                                2005                               2006
                        Tourism                Services               Retail                Manufacturing
                        Pub. Services          Sports                 Other

Figure 1.17: Analysis of change in rateable properties in County Galway between 2004 and 2006

The majority of reductions in the number of ratable businesses in the ‘public services’ and ‘other’
categories are due to a consolidation of the public services charges. A recent analysis undertaken
by the Local Government Management Services Board on Local Government Funding indicated
that Galway County Council is charging the lowest rates per capita in the Country. In 2006,
estimated rates income in County Galway was €17,110,281. The population of the County was
159,052 which gives a rateable income per capita of €107.58. This compares with rateable income
per capital in Mayo of €151.76, Kerry €219.55, Cork County €237.10.

Galway County Council has undertaken some analysis of the different databases of employers in
County Galway. The maps included in the appendices show the location of different employment
providers. Some summary points arising include:

    •     17 IDA supported industries employing at least 2,400 persons. IDA Ireland continues to
          promote Galway as an attractive location for industry and announced a new USCI facility
          for Ballinalsoe in 2006.

    •     Enterprise Ireland supported 88 Manufacturing and Internationally Traded Service
          Companies in 2006.

    •     Údarás na Gaeltachta has supported more than 120 companies in the Galway Gaeltacht
          with 6 or more employees. 10% of these employ more than 50 persons.

See maps in appendices

Summary of trends in County Galway

         Significant growth in employment and labour force in last 10 years.
         Increased female participation accounting for half of labour force growth.
         Decline in prominence of agriculture as an employment source.
         Significant increase in commuting to work patterns.
         Commerce and ‘Other Industries’ main growth areas for employment.
         Indications of full employment levels in certain parts of the County with high unemployment
          levels in others.
         Growth in highly education migrant workforce.

Galway County Council                                     27
      Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft

                                                    SOCIO-ECONOMIC FORCES ON COUNTY GALWAY
                                                                                               Increasing strength of
                                                                                               and demand for quality
                             Multi-culturalism of                                                                       Increased female
                                                    Location of a regional hub                 from consumers
                             Labour Force                                                                               participation in
  Consumer demand for
  Broadband Services                                                 Urbanisation of Tourism
                                                                                                                                      Decline in
                                                                                                                                      employment in
                                                                                                                                      traditional sectors

  Traffic Congestion
                                                                                                                                           Demand for increased
                                                                                                                                           capacity in Water and Waste
    LISBON Agenda                                                                                                                          Water Treatment Facilities
    for increased
    competitiveness                                                                                                                            Urbanisation of high
                                                                                                                                               value employment

Environmental Protection
                                                                                                                                                  Trend towards service
                                                                                                                                                  based employment

          Commuting Lifestyle

                                                                                                                                            Changing demographics
                                                                 Influence of e-Commerce                                                    of Consumers
                           Increased Health and
                           Safety regulation

                                                                                                   Depopulation of              Infrastructural Bottlenecks
                                                                                                   peripheral areas
      Galway County Council                                                          28
Economic Development Strategy        Draft



Galway County Council           29
Economic Development Strategy                                  Draft


             Promotion of                          Strategic
            County Galway                          Planning


              Developing                          Employment
             Infrastructue                         Creators

                                Human Resources
                                  and Social

Galway County Council               30
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft

The analysis outlined above and supported in the County Spatial Strategy outline emerging zones
within the County Galway that need specific responses to stimulate economic, social and cultural
development. The Council will implement a dual policy of implementing in parallel macro county
wide economic interventions supported by specific economic responses which focus on the needs
of the specific zones emerging.

This section of the Economic Development Strategy outlines the Council’s approach to fostering
economic growth and development throughout the County. The Macro Interventions being
implemented by the Council are presented first classified by six main themes.
     Developing Infrastructure
     Promotion of the County
     Fostering Innovation
     Strategic Planning
     Supporting Employment Creators
     Human Resource and Social Inclusion


Galway County Council recognizes that they are a number of unique sub county development
zones emerging within the County. The map below is an attempt to give an indicative outline of the
different development zones that are evolving.

       Regional Strategic Economic Development Zone.
       North South Corridor of Economic Development.
       East West Corridor of Economic Development.
       NorthWest Galway Economic Development Zone.
       Gaeltacht Economic Development Zone.
       North East Galway Economic Development Zone.
       South East Galway Economic Development Zone.
       Islands Development Zone.

It is anticipated that the infrastructural investment planned in the East West and North South
Transportation Corridors and the Regional Strategic Development Zone will act as a significant
economic growth driver within these areas. The County Spatial Strategy of Galway County Council
will contain land-use strategies that will generate critical mass along the Transportation Corridors
that will support the delivery of projects such as the new N6, N17 and N18 routes and the W estern
Rail Corridor.

Udaras na Gaeltachta is responsible for driving economic growth in the Gaeltacht and the Islands
Development zones and the Council will continue to work closely with this organization to support
their efforts. Plans for these two zones are being prepared by Udaras early in 2007. In order to
ensure balanced growth throughout the County, Galway County Council intends to undertake a
number of targeted initiatives within the three other under performing development zones, (North
East Galway, South East Galway and North West Galway), in addition to the planned infrastructural
investments and the initiatives listed in the Macro Economic Development Action programme to
stimulate further growth in these areas.

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   Economic Development Strategy                                                                                            Draft

                                                                                                                                                     Northeast Galway Development Zone

            West Galway Development Zone

                                                                        North South Corridor of Economic Development Zone
                                                                                                                            Regional Strategic
                                                                                                                            Development Zone
                                Gaeltacht Development Zone
                                                                                                                                                 East West Corridor of Economic Development Zone

Islands Development Zone

                                                                                                                                                           Southeast Galway Development Zone

                   Development Zones                Galway Gateway Facilities                                                                Designated Hub Town

   Galway County Council                                                32
Economic Development Strategy        Draft


Galway County Council           33
Economic Development Strategy                                                                     Draft


                            Promotion of                                   Strategic
                               County                                      Planning


                             Developing                                  Supporting
                            Infrastructure                               Employment

                                                  and Social

‘As the country increasingly moves towards a knowledge-based economy, the relative importance
of different types of infrastructure is changing. Infrastructure that supports the mobility of people (for
example, air services, national roads) and ideas (broadband networks) will increase in importance,
while the relative demand for other types of infrastructure may diminish. It is important that such
changing needs are reflected in investment decisions’. (Ahead of the Curve: Ireland’s place in the Global
economy, Enterprise Strategy Group, 2005)

‘The stock of infrastructure in an economy is a major determinate of its competitiveness. The
provision of infrastructure is essential to the social and economic well-being of the County. A
continual programme of investment in infrastructure is required’ (County Galway Local Authorities Corporate
Plan 2005-2009)

Goal: Develop quality infrastructure throughout County Galway to support
      Economic Growth and Social Development

Galway County Council will continue to facilitate develop and essential infrastructure to
support the economic development of County Galway.

Galway County Council                               34
Economic Development Strategy                                                                  Draft

Action Areas

Road Transportation: (Key Partners: Department of Transport, NRA, Neighbouring Local Authorities)

A region's industrial and employment base is closely tied to the quality of the transportation system.
Good, dependable transportation infrastructure allows businesses to receive inputs to production
facilities and to transport finished goods to market in an efficient manner. An efficient transportation
system allows companies to lower transportation costs, which lowers production costs and
enhances productivity and profits. It is the intention of the Council to complete key national and
regional road work projects in order to provide a modern road network to facilitate national and local
traffic and to upgrade key transportation centres. Actions include:

Complete key strategic road projects including the N6 from Galway to Ballinasloe, Ballinasloe to
Athlone, the Galway City Outer Bypass, the N18 from Oranmore to Crusheen, the N17 from Galway
City to County Boundaries, and the Galway City - Clifden route which has been identified in
Transport 21 as a National Secondary route targeted for upgrade within timeframes agreed with the
National Roads Authority. The South Conamara route will also be developed.

Public Transportation: (Key Partners: Department of Transport, Iarnrod Eireann, CIE, Galway City
Council, Pobal)

Public transport provision plays a major role in strengthening the economic and social cohesion of
an area. It has a beneficial effect on employment, by encouraging investment in transport
infrastructure and assisting workers' mobility. It is a prerequisite for the functioning of the labour
market and for economic development. It reduces the isolation of outlying rural areas. In addition, it
contributes towards a better quality of life, particularly in terms of the environment (air quality,
reduced noise pollution). Alternatives to road transport must be facilitated in order to balance traffic
flows and accommodate those who do not have access to their own car or who wish to avail of
public transport for economic and social purposes. Key projects for the County have been identified
in the national Transport 21 policy document. Actions include:

Introduce Quality Bus Corridors on selected approach roads to Galway City, and support and
further develop Rural Transport Initiatives in South East Galway, North East Galway and North
West Galway. Support Iarnrod Eireann in their implementation of decisions outlined in Transport 21
to re-open the Western Rail Corridor and develop rail commuter services between Athenry, a new
Parkway Railway Station in Oranmore and Galway City. The Council will also seek to establish a
transport hub / centre in Tuam. The Council will encourage the development of Rural Transport
Initiatives that feed into the National Primary Road and Rail Corridors.

Air and Sea Transportation: (Key Partners: DCMNR, DCRGA, Dept Transport)

Galway Airport is located in Carnmore and is the fastest growing regional airport in Ireland doubling
its passenger throughput since 1998. Considerable improvements have been made in recent years
including the completion of an extensive capital development programme. The County of Galway
benefits from the international airport at Shannon and the future growth of this facility is an
important driver of economic growth in County Galway. With a highly indented coastline stretching
to almost 689 kilometres, the County has a number of important piers and harbours used for
commercial and social transport, not least to the Islands.

Develop and upgrade Major Pier and Harbour Developments and Strategic Piers alongside the
Small Piers - Developments and Improvement five year programme. Facilitate and support any
future development plans for Galway Airport in line with adopted planning policy. Promote public
transport links between the Airport and Galway City. Support Shannon Airport Authority in its
strategies to develop international access to the region.

Water and Wastewater: (Key Partners: DEHLG, IDA, Group Water Schemes)

The 2006 Water Services Assessment of Needs report identifies a prioritised list of schemes for
inclusion in the Water Services Investment Programme in the period up to 2009 and in the longer
term up to 2014 incorporating water, wastewater and sludge management schemes. The Regional
Strategic Economic Development Zone is expected to generate a substantial need for water and

Galway County Council                             35
Economic Development Strategy                                                                 Draft
wastewater services and will add to the importance of the Galway City Main Drainage Stage 3
Strategic Study being undertaken. It is recognised that the water services needs of the County are
substantial and managing the investment programme will require harmonization and integration
with other programme areas in the Council. The Council operates 46 public water supply schemes
and 26 sewerage schemes with 177 Group Water Schemes taking a supply from public water
supply schemes. Actions include:

Implement the Water Services Investment Programme in association with the Department of
Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Implement the provisions of the Strategic Rural
Water Plan through the upgrading, renewal and construction of Group Schemes in line with grant
allocation levels provided and identify, prioritise and progress the Serviced Land Initiative.

Waste Management: (Key Partners: DEHLG, EPA, Connacht Region Waste Management
Steering Group, Private providers)

Increased economic activity is likely to lead to increases waste production and hence require higher
levels of waste management. Waste management infrastructure facilitates and supports physical
and economic development. The long-term policy is to achieve sustainable management of waste
arising by developing an integrated system of waste treatment solutions. The 2001 Regional Waste
Management Plan made recommendations for the expansion of the existing waste infrastructure in
the Region. Significant progress has been made (by both the local authorities and the private
sector) in the provision of waste infrastructure and the Region is now well placed to implement the
recommendations of the revised Plan for the next planning horizon (2006-2011). It is an underlying
objective of the Plan for 2006 - 2011 to provide a range of integrated waste management
infrastructure. In conjunction with the private sector it is necessary to encourage the provision of
additional facilities for commercial organic waste in the Region and promote Resource Recovery.
Actions include:

Implement the provisions of the Regional Waste Management Plan to further develop waste
management infrastructure including the collection and management of WEEE, participate in
national waste management initiatives to promote sustainable development at local level. In
addition, appoint a Green Business Officer to liaise with business and industry on waste
management and prevention, introduce sectoral networks for small business in which will focus on
the waste generated from the commercial/industrial sector and inform them of ways to implement
segregated collection schemes.

Broadband Infrastructure: (Key Partners: DCMNR Telecommunications Companies)

Broadband availability is of strategic importance because of its ability to accelerate the contribution
of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to economic growth in all sectors, enhance social
and cultural development, and facilitate innovation. Better use of ICT has been identified as one of
the key factors required to improve Ireland’s productivity performance. Since 2002, Forfás has
produced a series of periodic reports that benchmark the competitive provision, cost and quality of
broadband services to enterprises in Ireland against other countries with which Ireland competes.

The provision of affordable and accessible broadband for both commercial and residential
consumers is now an essential component in the infrastructural make-up of any area. The
expansion and provision of broadband is viewed as a key enabler in attracting investment from the
high-tech sector and facilitating a move from dependence on traditional industrial for employment.
Broadband can create and enhance a sustainable environment for inward investment as well as the
development of indigenous industries in the knowledge economy. Actions include:

Progress the efficient installation and promotion of Broadband Metropolitan Area Networks through
the rollout of MAN’s in Athenry, Ballinasloe, Clifden, Gort, and Loughrea and secure the inclusion of
Tuam and Portumna within the future Fibre Broadband Programmes. The Council will also support
the introduction and expansion of wireless broadband services for rural areas and towns.

Galway County Council                             36
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft


The following are broad indicators that will assist in assessing the success of this Economic
Strategy. These are the goals that need to be achieved. It must be noted that not all of these goals
are completely within the control of Galway County Council but they still remain important
milestones that need to be achieved.

       A world class transport infrastructure is in place in County Galway.
       There is 100% Broadband Coverage throughout County Galway.
       There are quality public transport services throughout County Galway.
       There is high quality access to/from the County to international
       There is high quality intra County Transport networks.
       There is high quality water and waste infrastructure throughout the
        County adequate to meet growing demands.
       The unique and quality environment in County Galway is protected.

Galway County Council                           37
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft


                          Promotion of                                Strategic
                             County                                   Planning


                           Developing                                 Supporting
                          Infrastructure                             Employment

                                               and Social

As a small, open, trade-intensive economy Ireland’s economic progress is very much influenced by
global trends. In a global economy dominated by trans-national corporations (TNCs), the strength of
regional economies is linked to their capacity to attract or retain footloose international capital
through foreign direct investment (FDI). The process of globalization whereby national and regional
economies have become part of international markets has led to an emphasis on competitiveness
as a key survival strategy for advanced economies. (Enterprise and Employment in the Western Region,
Western Development Commission 2004)

Goal: Sustain the existing positive perception of County Galway and create
      further international awareness of the positives of County Galway as a
      location in which to reside, work, visit or trade with

Galway County Council will undertake promotional activities to sustain awareness of County
Galway as an ideal location for enterprise, with a superb quality of life, and an exciting
tourist destination. The Council will also support the promotion of products and services
originating in the County.

Action Areas

Promoting our Tourism Product (Key Partners: Failte Ireland, Ireland West, DCRGA, Teagsc,
Leader Co’s, Tourism Co’s, Island Development Co’s)
Galway is a vibrant, diverse destination, offering the visitor a broad range of product experiences
encompassing the carnival atmosphere of the City to the breath-taking natural beauty of Conamara.

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Economic Development Strategy                                                                      Draft
In addition, areas in East Galway are endowed with heritage which is reflected through an array of
historical, ecclesiastical, monastic and other treasures representative of centuries now past.
Galway also possesses the largest Gaeltacht population in Ireland, which greatly adds to its allure
as a tourist destination. In essence, Galway appeals to many people who travel from very different
locations, not least the indigenous population, who have made Galway the second most popular
destination in the domestic breaks market. (Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action
2003)   Critical issues have been identified in the promotion of tourism in the County to include,
marketing, access, product development and servicing the visitor and to promote Galway’s existing
product base through increased co-ordination. Actions include:

Fund and support marketing initiatives and campaigns of the different Tourism organizations
operating throughout the County. Develop the tourism product through the environmental
enhancement of towns and villages through the Town and Village Urban Renewal Scheme and
continued investment in the development and promotion of the Arts and Heritage sectors. Support
the development and marketing of Walking routes within the County. In addition, implement actions
in the Developing Sustainable Tourism in Galway – A Framework for Action and actions in Galway
County Strategy 2006-2008 Programme of Actions for Tourism. Support the development of
Gateway Facilities along the new National Primary Road Routes into the County at the Gateway
towns of Ballinasloe, Gort and Tuam.

Promoting Rural Enterprise (Key Partners: Dept of Agriculture, DCRGA, DEHLG, Teagasc,
Enterprise Ireland)
The nature of enterprise encouraged to locate in rural areas must be appropriate to those areas in
economic, social and environmental terms. There must also be flexibility in relation to how smaller
towns’ enterprise functions are perceived. In order to strengthen the provision of services,
regenerate rural communities and promote the economic development of rural areas, there is a
need to support and promote rural and agricultural diversification through a variety of initiatives.
These include rural and agri-tourism initiatives; promoting rural transport; developing power supply
and telecommunications to rural areas; and promoting the development of small incubator units as
an adjunct to other rural activities, such as agriculture, horticulture, forestry, mariculture and
alternative energy production. There must be an economic basis for communities to remain in rural
areas. The creation and maintenance of employment and income generating opportunities are
critically important, therefore, to sustaining vibrant rural communities. The marine sector is one of
huge potential for economic development in County Galway. This resource needs to be harnessed.
Actions include:

Undertake marketing initiatives in co-operation with strategic bodies to promote rural areas as a
location for enterprise development and implement a promotional campaign to increase awareness
of the opportunities from Broadband for rural communities and rural business. Support the work of
the County Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development in encouraging diversification in
Agriculture. In addition, maximise the funding potential from the Clár programme to sustain and
support rural enterprise. Work in partnership with the Marine Institute to facilitate the growth of the
marine sector in County Galway.

National and International Promotion (Key Partners: IDA Ireland, Failte Ireland West, Western
Development Commission Chambers of Commerce)
Highlighting the attractiveness of County Galway as a location to invest in is an important aspect in
developing the local economy.        This will require co-operation with regional and national
organisations in order to add value to existing initiatives and promote the local authority as a
positive enabler of enterprise and economic development.              IDA Ireland’s focus for inward
investment in the region lies in attracting some new key manufacturing investments in the Life
Sciences and Biopharma sectors and also progress further the objective of the region being a
quality location for the Information Technology sector. The local authority has a key role in
enabling, supporting and encouraging investment through promotion of the County as an attractive
location for high value added sectors in line with IDA Ireland objectives.

Participate in and promote the County at national and international trade seminars and
conferences. Develop promotional and marketing material for the County highlighting the relative
attractiveness of County towns as a location for industry. Encourage and assist towns and villages
develop and promote positive aspects of their areas and network through activities such as Town
Twinning activities, Tidy Towns and Pride of Place. Actively Participate in the Look West campaign

Galway County Council                                39
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft
of the Western Development Commission. Use the NASC network in Brussels to further promote
products and services originating in County Galway.


The following are broad indicators that will assist in assessing the success of this Economic
Strategy. These are the goals that need to be achieved. It must be noted that not all of these goals
are completely within the control of Galway County Council but they still remain important
milestones that need to be achieved.

       An increase the Tourism revenue generated in County Galway.
       A greater range of the Tourism product on offer in County Galway.
       Substantial growth in innovative enterprise located in County Galway.
       Growth of the mariculture sector.
       Greater International awareness of Galway as a trading partner,
        enterprise area and tourism destination.
       Greater International recognition of the Galway “brand”.
       Further development of Language and Cultural Resources.
       Further development of the Gaeltacht region identity.
       Growth in the economies of the inhabited Islands of the Coast of

Galway County Council                           40
Economic Development Strategy                                                               Draft


                       Promotion                                    Strategic
                       of County                                    Planning


                       Developing                                   Supporting
                      Infrastructure                               Employment

                                             and Social

The development of the knowledge economy is one of the key challenges and opportunities facing
Ireland. The factors which contributed to our economic success to date will not be sufficient to
achieve this vision. Competition is creating pressure for improvements in efficiency, quality and
productivity and a growing need to innovate. These pressures are only going to increase. They are
generating the need to take courageous forward looking steps that will achieve real strategic
change, show tangible medium term results and shape the future. (Strategy for Science, Technology and
Innovation 2006)

Goal: To create of an environment and culture that encourages innovation,
      research & development and entrepreneurship

Galway County Council will support and participate in activities that foster innovation in all
aspects of the economy in County Galway.

Galway County Council                             41
Economic Development Strategy                                                                 Draft

Action Areas

Rural Enterprise Development (Key Partners: DEHLG, DCRGA, Teagsc, Leader Co’s, Failte
Ireland West, Udaras na Gaeltachta. Enterprise Ireland, Marine Institute, NUI,Galway, GMIT)

In many cases, rural areas in Ireland have not realised their full potential for the development of
rural enterprise in the areas of tourism, agri-business, mariculture, forestry and fisheries. A key
challenge is to harness our resources and target investments to create a diversity of employment
and income generating opportunities. Goals for enterprise in rural areas must fit within a wider
spatial vision for rural areas and enterprise goals and policies must be considered in the context of
the natural and cultural resources and skills available or attracted to a specific area. Harnessing
such resources and skills can generate income opportunities and potential ‘niche’ enterprises and
services which can make that area more sustainable. Rural enterprise can therefore, contribute to
overall rural sustainability by aiding the development of a diversified local economy, involving
locally-based employment, both farming and non-farming. Actions Include:

Develop serviced Rural Enterprise Zones in underserved settlement centres that can be used by
indigenous growth enterprises. Work with the Third Level Institutions and Development Agencies to
facilitate the development of outreach incubator units linked to research centres. Support the
development of enterprises that harness the natural and cultural resources of areas and can add
value to specific or ‘niche’ products of that area including agri-food, marine enterprises and cultural
resources. Develop tourism walking routes and facilitate the provision of services outlined in the
Rural Resource Study 2005.

Innovation and e-business (Key Partners: West Regional Authority, GMIT, NUI, Galway,
Chambers of Commerce and FAS)

The provision of income and employment opportunities through enterprise is a vital component of
any strategy for supporting a dispersed rural population. Significant employment creation is
required in rural areas to offset the decline in employment in the agriculture sector, to counter the
trend towards major urban centres and indeed to attract people back to rural areas. Enhancing
income and employment opportunities requires a creative strategy to provide the environment
which is conducive to innovation and risk-taking, to attract investment, stimulate entrepreneurship,
support existing businesses, establish new firms, create new products and implement better
business practices. (Department of Agriculture) Actions include:

Develop awareness and training initiatives to encourage participation in e-commerce and
innovation and support the development of enterprise space that facilitates manufacturing and
shared production, storage and distribution facilities in rural locations. Support rural communities to
develop greater access to broadband services, establish open access wifi in public libraries and
expand the range of local authority e-services. Support Organisations and initiatives that are
harnessing the economic potential of the wealth of cultural resources that exist in the County such
as film production, language based commodities, music and audio visual production, Television
content production and digital media services.

Market Towns and Food Industries (Key Partners: Teagasc Local Development Companies)

People living in rural areas are still dependent on their market town, and the town is reliant on them.
However, changes need to be made if residents are to continue using local shops and services.
Regeneration is crucial for rural areas and this is dependent upon sustainable economic
development of the countryside and market town. Markets are a way of highlighting and promoting
local identity and can also lead to the recognition of a local cuisine and craft speciality. The
development of a market function in towns would benefit both the town itself and its rural hinterland.
A market can provide an outlet for the local agricultural and horticultural producers as well as local
crafts and speciality products. It also increases the attractiveness of a location as a tourist
destination. Actions include:

Support the development of enterprise space that facilitates food production. Support existing town
markets and promotion of their expansion along with the development of farmers markets in a
number of locations and support and assist in the development of a Galway Good Food Guide.

Galway County Council                             42
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft


The following are broad indicators that will assist in assessing the success of this Economic
Strategy. These are the goals that need to be achieved. It must be noted that not all of these goals
are completely within the control of Galway County Council but they still remain important
milestones that need to be achieved.

       Continued diversification of the Economy in County Galway.
       Development of significant value added products and services
        originating in County Galway.
       Growth in Farmers Markets and Town Markets throughout County
       Greater harnessing of natural resources in County Galway.
              - Marine based resources
              -Alternative Energy resources
              -Cultural Resources
              -Gaeltacht region
              - Language based products

Galway County Council                           43
Economic Development Strategy                                                                  Draft


                               Promotion                                         Strategic
                               of County                                         Planning


                               Developing                                       Supporting
                              Infrastructure                                   Employment

                                                        and Social

Smaller towns and villages have much potential that can be capitalised on. This is compatible with
promoting critical mass at nationally and internationally competitive urban areas, if these urban
areas are linked to the smaller centres and rural areas through physical connections such as good
communications, energy, roads or public transport networks and through innovation, enterprise
promotion and business links. The strengths of the smaller towns and villages lie in their capacity to
accommodate employment, residential and other functions on the basis of their competitive
advantage in terms of lower costs and a quality of life which is attractive to many people.(The National
Spatial Strategy 2002-2020, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.)

Goal: To develop strategies to support continued economic development

Galway County Council will strategically plan for continued economic growth and
development in the County.

Galway County Council                                    44
Economic Development Strategy                                                                Draft

Action Areas

Provision of Industrial Land (Key Partners: IDA Ireland)

According to IDA Ireland, Galway, and the West as a whole, needs to lay strong foundations to be
competitive for the future and this includes forward planning on the availability of land with the
necessary infrastructure to support significant national inward investment projects. County and
Local Area Plans are the medium through which lands are appropriately zoned for to enable the
location of industry and enterprise. The land-use requirements of industry present a particular
challenge given the competing pressures on land in a predominantly rural County. If sufficient land
is not provided, however, the growth and development of the manufacturing, storage and
distribution sectors will be stifled and emerging industries will not be developed due to lack of
premises. This will also restrict opportunities to relocate businesses from sites where they have a
high impact on residential areas, or can release land for other uses. Actions include:

Ensure that adequate land is zoned to facilitate future industrial development in line with the County
Spatial Strategy and to meet the emerging needs of industry, identify and secure lands in strategic
areas of the County in order to facilitate the provision of local enterprise centres or manufacturing
space and support the development of a strategic regional economic centre within the County.

Co-ordination Mechanisms

Internal co-ordination within the local authority and external co-operation with economic
development organisations is required to ensure an integrated response to the economic
development of the County in a sustainable manner. Mechanisms to co-ordinate development
must be put in place and enhanced. A number of forums have been established under the
auspices of the County Development Board including an Enterprise and Broadband Forum to co-
ordinate local economic development and work with partner agencies to identify and overcome
blockages to further development. Internally, the Management Team and Senior Management
Group have a role to co-ordinate cross-unit activity and ensure synthesis of development proposals.
The economic development needs of the County have an impact on a number of Units within the
Council and co-ordination is required to ensure strategic planning and responses. Actions include:

Harness the resources and expertise of the different enterprise development agencies through the
County Development Board’s Enterprise and Broadband Forum. Explore the prospect of
establishing a Galway Transportation Office in conjunction with Galway City Council. In addition,
the Council will develop and liaise with networks with local Chambers of Commerce and other local
development groups to ensure co-ordination. Strengthen linkages and co-operation with
neighboring local authorities and regional bodies such as the BMW Regional Assembly and West
Regional Authority. Utilise the NASC network to participate in joint projects with the other counties
that contain Gaeltacht areas.


The following are broad indicators that will assist in assessing the success of this Economic
Strategy. These are the goals that need to be achieved. It must be noted that not all of these goals
are completely within the control of Galway County Council but they still remain important
milestones that need to be achieved.

       Policies in place within Galway County Council to support continued
        economic development.
       Policies are rural proofed to ensure balanced development.
       There is a co-ordinated response to the needs of enterprise provided
        by local government.
       Galway County Council is an active and supportive partner with other
        development agencies and bodies.

Galway County Council                            45
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft


                          Promotion                                  Strategic
                          of County                                  Planning


                          Developing                                Supporting
                         Infrastructure                             Employment

                                               and Social

The Government believes that a renewed system of local government can provide a more effective
focus for the effective delivery of a wider range of public services, for the better development and
well being of local communities, and for promoting more local development and enterprise.
Partnership and participation can be fostered through local government, and local identity and local
loyalties can be harnessed to foster social inclusiveness, equality of opportunity and a tangible
sharing of the burdens and rewards of society. (Government Statement - July 1995)

Goal: To support employment creators in County Galway

Galway County Council will assist local enterprise development through the establishment
of networks and support structures.

Galway County Council                           46
Economic Development Strategy                                                              Draft

Actions Areas

Business Response Unit

An ongoing commitment to increasing opportunities for businesses and improving the level and
quality of service that the local authority offers to the business community can be progressed
through the establishment of a Business Response Unit within the Council to co-ordinate responses
to business queries and offer liaison with the business community and enterprise support agencies.
BRU can promote the development and economic well-being of small businesses through targeted
services that leverage government, private and community resources and contacts. BRU can also
provide the tools that will enable business to learn about and bid on local government contracts and
inform businesses about incentive programmes, training and support initiatives and assist in
resolving problems related to local government services.

Establish a Business Response Unit to provide a single point of contact and ‘signposting’ service
for enterprise and referral service for enterprise support agencies. BRU will offer advice to local
enterprises on local authority functions, contracts and supports available, promote the economic
development of the County and undertake research into business and economic development
opportunities. BRU will also co-ordinate local authority responses to national and EU policy as it
affects the operation of local enterprise.

Community Enterprise Centres (Key Partners: Enterprise Ireland, City & County Enterprise

In the Enterprise Ireland Strategy: Transforming Irish Industry 2006, the identification,
establishment and development of High Potential Start Up companies, is a major objective for
achieving regional balance. Ensuring the provision of essential business infrastructure such as
incubation space is a practical measure to support this objective. These Centres provide a
supportive environment for budding entrepreneurs and serve to help the development of
entrepreneurship at the local level. Galway County Council can foster an enterprise culture by
developing and supporting Enterprise Centres, which assist start-up businesses. Our role will be to
assist local communities to develop enterprise centres in association with Enterprise Ireland and
the third level educational institutions and support communities to develop similar centres in
economically disadvantaged areas. Actions include:

Provide support to further develop and expand Community Enterprise Centres/Zones through the
Council’s Community Based Economic Development Grants Scheme. Provide specific assistance
to communities seeking to establish new enterprise initiatives through BRU.

Networking and Support (Key Partners: Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Groups, Local
Development Groups.)

Networking is friendly, low-key and essential in our complex society. Networking and support
systems exist to promote business, create alliances, develop skills, get assistance in challenges
faced and increase contacts to encourage business development. Businesses are increasingly in
contact with local authorities for support and assistance on a range of issues. Environmental,
planning and legal issues place a level of restriction on the operation of business requiring
appropriate information and support from the local authority to assist business in meeting legal and
regulatory requirements. Actions include:

Support the work of Chambers of Commerce and other local economic development groups at town
and village level through the establishment and of a County Network of local Economic
Development groups and Chambers of Commerce. Moderate increases in rates charged to assist
enterprise remain competitive.

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The following are broad indicators that will assist in assessing the success of this Economic
Strategy. These are the goals that need to be achieved. It must be noted that not all of these goals
are completely within the control of Galway County Council but they still remain important
milestones that need to be achieved.

       Closer Relationship between local government and enterprise.
       Appropriate Balanced Spatial Disbursement of Enterprise Centres
        throughout the County.
       Greater level of networking between local economic development
        groups and local business.

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                           Promotion                                  Strategic
                           of County                                  Planning


                           Developing                                Supporting
                          Infrastructure                             Employment

                                                and Social

From an enterprise perspective, the ability of the education system to respond flexibly to economic
and social change is critical to the supply of appropriate skills for the effective functioning of the
economy. (Ahead of the Curve. Enterprise Strategy Group 2004)

Goal: Increase the skills base of disadvantaged groups and organisations to
      maximise their potential to benefit from economic growth.

Galway County Council will support communities to address the employment needs of
socially disadvantaged groups in their areas.

Action Areas

Educational Support Initiatives:

Human resource development is a key contributor to economic development and the County must
seek to improve the quality, mix and practical skills of its human resources. The CDB have sought
to develop policies and initiatives that contribute to a society in which all can participate and use
their talents, skills and resources to thrive in the competitive market and contribute to their well-
being. Educational supports for enterprise and the knowledge economy are provided by a number
of organisations including the County and City Enterprise Board, FAS, GMIT, NUI,G and Westbic.

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The local authority has a role to work with and support these organisations in developing the human
resource potential to meet the needs of industry and social development. Actions include:

Identify and support initiatives through the Learning Forum of the CDB to support the development
of the skills base. Input with FAS and Chambers of Commerce to training programmmes for those
in Enterprise to upgrade the skills base within indigenous enterprise. Support the development of
outreach education and training facilities within rural communities that can be utilised by different
training providers. Encourage training and education providers to develop outreach services
throughout the County.

Developing Local Capacity:

Through the delivery of its support services for disadvantaged groups and its Social Inclusion
Strategy, Galway County Council provides assistance and financial support for target groups
identified in the National Anti-Poverty Strategy as being at risk of poverty. A number of recent
targeted initiatives (lone parents, childcare and travellers) have sought to develop and enhance
capacity to progress to the labour market for marginalised groups in association with other agencies
in a co-ordinated manner. It is important that an obvious link is made between initiatives designed
to enhance the social inclusion of disadvantaged groups with progression to employment and
income generating opportunities. In this regard, the local authority will seek to proof its supports to
local groups against its impact on local economic development. Actions include:

Provision of funding and support for groups providing progression and skills-based training
opportunities NAPS target groups and provision of advice and training to community organisations
registered with the Community Forum. Facilitate the implementation of the RAPID programmes in
Ballinasloe and Tuam.

Harnessing potential of new residents in the County.

Immigration has driven a significant amount of the welcome growth in the population of County
Galway in recent years. Research carried out at national level by Forfas indicate that many of these
new workers are significantly over qualified for the positions they are filling. Galway County Council
will support efforts by learning and development agencies to assist new workers to achieve
employment that reflects the level of skills that they bring to our economy.


The following are broad indicators that will assist in assessing the success of this Economic
Strategy. These are the goals that need to be achieved. It must be noted that not all of these goals
are completely within the control of Galway County Council but they still remain important
milestones that need to be achieved.

        Employment of migrant workers in positions that reflect their
         educational attainment.
        Development of greater links with the countries from which migrants
         workers are originating.
        Upskilling of the labour force in County Galway.
        Full implementation of the RAPID plans for Ballinasloe and Tuam

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Galway County Council           51
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Economic development rarely acknowledges sub national boundaries. With the increasing
dominance of globalization even national boundaries are becoming less important in economic
terms as the world markets become more and more focused on the large trading blocks and
achieving competitive advantage.

For stakeholders concerned with promoting economic development at a County level, we need to
be aware that market driven economics alone will not bring about balanced sustainable economic
development throughout the County of Galway. We can confidentially predict that the investment of
transport infrastructure along the North South Corridor, East West Corridor and the Regional
Strategic Economic Zone at the heart of the County will result in strong economic growth in these
areas and their respective catchment areas.

It is anticipated that future economic growth will emerge in and around these key transportation
routes with development pressures extending to a 10km loci in each direction. In addition, strategic
routes from Galway City to Clifden and Rosmuc in Connamara have been identified in the County
Galway Spatial Strategy corresponding with future road development proposals.

The remaining predominately rural areas of the County in the North West, South East, the
Gaeltacht, the Islands and North Conamara areas are considered weak from an economic
development perspective and will require additional supports to link employment and development
opportunities into the key economic corridors. These zones have been identified in the County
Spatial Strategy and correspond primarily to the Clár areas of the County. The maps outline
indicative areas and no new geographical boundaries are being created.

The critical issue that needs to be addressed is to ensure that the areas outside of these strategic
zones have the resources and tools to tap into and benefit from the economic growth that will result
from the investment in strategic infrastructure. We can identify that the three cardinal growth drivers
of Access, Communications and Skills will be the factors that assist the rural economic zones of
     The NorthWest Galway Economic Development Zone.
     The Gaeltacht Economic Development Zone.
     The North East Galway Economic Development Zone.
     The South East Galway Economic Development Zone.
     The Islands Development Zone.
to achieve growth.

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             Access                                                          ations

Cardinal Growth Drivers for Rural Areas

Udaras na Gaeltachta is the agency with primary responsibility for driving economic growth in the
Gaeltacht and Islands Development zones and the Council will continue to work closely with this
organization to support their efforts. Udaras are currently preparing Economic Development
Strategies for these areas and the Community, Enterprise and Economic Development Unit will
work closely with them in the preparation of these strategies.

In order to ensure balanced growth throughout the County, Galway County Council intends to
undertake a number of targeted initiatives within the three other development zones, (North East
Galway, South East Galway and West Galway), in addition to the planned infrastructural
investments and the initiatives listed above in the Macro Economic Development Action programme
to further stimulate growth in these areas.

The Skills Development element required by the areas is one that Galway County Council has a
limited role in. The local authority will support the main stakeholders in this field to deliver training
and education programmes on an outreach basis so that they are more accessible to the
populations of these areas.

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2.2.2 Regional Strategic Development Zone

                                                             Regional Strategic
                                                             Development Zone

Policy to support economic development in the County must be viewed in the context of the
development of key industrial sites by the IDA in Oranmore and Athenry which are expected to
support medium to large scale manufacturing, production and research and development industry
catering for up to 5,000 employees within 10 years. The proposals to develop these areas will
provide a major boost to the local economies of each area with a footprint extending to the wider
regional hinterland.      Proposals to develop a new linked international-standard Science &
Technology Park over the medium/long term will be in line with County Galway Spatial Strategy
objectives and will create a focal feature of attraction for the west region as a whole, so that it would
be more competitive to win a greater proportion of future key national inward investment projects.

The policies of the National Development Plan, the National Spatial Strategy and the Western
Regional Planning Guidelines promote balanced regional development. In order to implement these
policies Galway County Council in consultation with other relevant organisations has identified a
strategic corridor to the east of Galway city which is endowed with a high concentration of valuable
infrastructure. The lands concerned are located approximately two kilometres to the north and the
south of the Dublin-Galway rail line between Attymon station and the N18 level crossing at

The objectives for this corridor include:

1. To upgrade, improve and maximise the infrastructural facilities available within the corridor.
2. To seek to reserve lands to support nationally and regionally significant activities and to attract
specialist enterprise development that is large scale or high value.
3. It is also an objective to facilitate opportunities for science and technology based employment.
4. To ensure development is compatible with the enhancement, preservation and protection of the
environment and cultural resources recognised within the corridor.
5. To prepare Local Area Plans for strategic areas and those surrounding immediate environs
within the corridor.

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2.2.3 North West Galway Economic Development Zone

                     North West Galway
                     Development Zone

The North West Galway Area is the most remote area of the County. It has spectacular countryside
and a tourism tradition built on the towns of Clifden and Oughterard, the Atlantic and lough Corrib. It
will be a priority to consolidate the Tourism industry while assisting enterprise that can harness
either the Marine resources or the proximity of Galway City and its research institutions. A critical
matter for this area is road access and the development of the Galway City Outer Bypass is a
priority in order to enable the area have access to international markets. The development of
linkages from Clifden in the West to Galway City in the east is also a significant driver of economic
development for the area. Over 80% of the area is covered by the Clar programme.

Creative industries are also a potential area of economic development for this area and the County
profile show pockets of high educational attainment in places within this area. The location of the
Third level GMIT campus in Letterfrack is a resource that needs to be capitalized on. The
construction of a Fibre based Metropolitan Area Network in Clifden Town is a new resource that
offers potential for high value small enterprise locating in the Town.

Area specific initiatives for the North West Galway Development Zone

The following initiatives will complement the Macro Projects in section 2.1 above

► Development of the area partnership through the Local Development Cohesion Project.
► Promotional campaign for Towns in County Galway – Clifden, Oughterard.
► Support for Tourism Marketing Initiatives.
► Campaign to increase demand for broadband Services.
► Expanding Rural Transport Initiative Project.
► Development of Clifden Town Hall.
► Development of Enterprise Space/Zones in key locations.
► Integrated Area Plan.
► Construction of Fibre based Broadband in Clifden.
► Development of Walking routes.
► Progression of N59 improvements through Transport 21 programme.
► Secure additional investment through the Clar programme.

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2.2.4 North East Galway Economic Development Zone

The North East Galway area is finding it most difficult to secure economic growth within the
transformation of the County economy. Its traditional reliance on the agricultural industry has left it
poorly equipped to make the transformation to service and knowledge based economies that other
areas of the County are benefiting from. The skills base of the area is also impinging on the
economic potential of the area. This is an area that will require the most intensive intervention from
economic stakeholders. It has the positive factor of having the two transport corridors at its Western
and Southern borders. Maximising the potential of this good accessibility will be something the area
will have to focus on if it is to stimulate further economic growth. All of this area is within the Clar
area of County Galway and the RAPID towns of Ballinasloe and Tuam are at the fringes of this

Area specific initiatives for the North East Galway Development Zone

The following initiatives will complement the Macro Projects in section 2.1 above

► Develop Rural Transport Initiative.
► Development of Enterprise Space/Zone in key locations.
► Develop an Integrated Area Plan for a key settlement in the area.
► Pursue the Rural Resource Audit Strategy.
► Support for development of Mountbellew College.
► Facilitate the development of alternative energy Industry
► Development of Economic Opportunities from River Suck.
► Development of Broadband Wireless Services.
► Promotional campaign for Towns in County Galway – Mountbellew.
► Development of Walking Routes
► Support for Tourism Marketing Initiatives.
► Prepare a development strategy to address the unique attributes of the area.
► Secure additional investment through the Clar programme

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2.2.5 South East Galway Economic Development Zone

                                                                    South East Galway
                                                                    Development Zone

South East Galway would appear to have circumstances that are a blend of the North West and
North East Development Zones. There is a mountainous landscape and Lough Derg to the South
which have propagated a tourism industry in the area and it also has a traditional agricultural base.
The main towns servicing this area are Loughrea, Gort and Portumna. These are growth centres
and particularly the former two are likely to experience significant growth in the near future.
Alternative energy production is a fledgling sector in this area with the advent of wind farms, the
new Gas power station and the development of the woodchip industry. Again this area is bordered
by the transport Corridors on the Western and Northern fringes and the area will have to maximize
the potential that this new access infrastructure will provide. The entire area is within the Clar

Area specific initiatives for the South West Galway Development Zone

The following initiatives will complement the Macro Projects in section 2.1 above
► Expanding the Rural Transport Initiative.
► Development of Enterprise Space/zones in Key Locations.
► Develop an Integrated Area Plan for Portumna.
► Development of Broadband Wireless Services.
► Campaign to increase demand for broadband services.
► Secure a Fibre based MAN for the town of Portumna
► Facilitate the development of alternative energy Industry.
► Development of Walking Routes.
► Development of Economic Opportunities of the Suck, Shannon and Lough Derg.
► Promotional campaign for Towns in Galway servicing the area – Loughrea , Portumna and
► Support for Tourism Marketing Initiatives.
► Harness the opportunities from location at the centre of the geo triangle of the Urban
centres of Athlone, Limerick and Galway
► Secure additional investment through the Clar programme
► Work with Third level institutions and the County VEC to deliver outreach educational

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2.2.6 Gaeltacht and Islands Economic Development Zones

     Islands Development

                          Development Zone

Udaras na Gaeltachta is the agency with primary responsibility for driving economic growth in the
Gaeltacht and Islands Development zones and the Council will continue to work closely with this
organization to support their efforts. Udaras are currently preparing Economic Development
Strategies for these areas and the Community, Enterprise and Economic Development Unit will
work closely with them in the preparation of these strategies. In advance of the preparation of these
programmes Galway County Council is currently implementing the initiatives listed below to
strengthen the economic development of these zones. The potential of marine enterprise is one
which offers huge potential for these areas and is a sector the local authority will aim to foster. In
addition the value added that can be incorporated into the cultural resources that are abundant in
these zones is also recognized as a potential sector for economic growth.

Gaeltacht Development Zone
   • Work with Udaras na Gaeltachta in their development of economic strategies for the
       different regions of the Gaeltacht
   • Promotional campaign for Towns in County Galway- Ceathru Rua/Gaeltacht area
   • Complete feasibility Study on the development of a Swimming Pool in Connemara
   •   Upgrading of the transport route through the Gaeltacht
   • Consolidation of Area Office in An Ceathru Rua
   • Secure Additional investment through the Clar Programme
   • Facilitate the development of maricultural enterprise

Islands Economic Zone
    • Support Marketing initiative for the islands as a Tourist destination
    • Secure additional investment through the Clar programme
    • Upgrade Pier facilitates on islands and mainland.
    •   Develop ICT facilities on Island Communities
    • facilitate the development of maricultural enterprises
    • Support the work of the Island Development Company in improve the economic
        environment on the islands.

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   Economic Development Strategy                                                                                               Draft

                                                                                                                                                        Northeast Galway Development Zone

            North West Galway Development Zone

                                                                           North South Corridor of Economic Development Zone
                                                                                                                               Regional Strategic
                                                                                                                               Development Zone
                                 Gaeltacht Development Zone
                                                                                                                                                    East West Corridor of Economic Development Zone

Islands Development Zone

                                                                                                                                                              Southeast Galway Development Zone

                   Development Zones                 Galway Gateway Facilities                                                                  Designated Hub Town

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3.1 Economic Forecasts
A strategy such as this does not operate within a vacuum and it is important to examine some of
the economic predictions in regard to the future direction of the Irish Economy. This section
reviews some of the main predictions from different perspectives in the economic development
debate with many common themes appearing throughout. Most commentators expect that Ireland
will experience further growth in the years ahead and this growth will exert significant pressure on
our infrastructure. Undoubtedly, Ireland needs to expand and accelerate its infrastructural
investment programmes in order to meet demand pressures to become a higher value economy.

3.1.1   Predictions from the ESRI Medium-Term Review 2005-2012

       Continued economic growth rate in Ireland above EU average
       This growth will be hampered by limits on inputs.
       Ireland is subject to over-exposure to international shocks.
       There is an over reliance on the building and construction sector for employment growth.
       Markets will be influenced by the emerging dominating thirties age group generation.
       The new influence of multi-culturalism.

In the longer-term Ireland must deal with the following:

       The growing importance of China and India as trading partners rather than competitors.
       The shift to a service based economy.
       Weaning our economy from dependence on the low corporation tax regime.
       Preparing for a ‘greying’ society.

3.1.2   OECD Economic Surveys: Ireland

Some of the critical issues identified by the OECD in 2006 show the direction that the Irish
Economy is heading in. “ is [Ireland] going through a transition phase in upgrading its social
services; infrastructure levels need to catch up with the boom in activity and population that has
occurred over this period; and it has to manage some sizeable macroeconomic risks.” OECD Policy
Brief March 2006. In this report the OECD outlines the following challenges which face the Irish

Maintaining high rates of productivity growth

As Irish activity comes to rely less on foreign firms and more on home-grown services, productivity
gains will become harder to achieve. The main areas where policy could make a difference in
sustaining productivity are:

       Boost Competition. There are too many sectors where producers are shielded from
        competition, raising prices and stifling growth. Reforms are necessary in the electricity and
        telecoms sectors and unnecessary restraints in services such as law, pharmacies and the
        pub trade should be removed. In the retail sector, the Government’s decision to abolish the
        Groceries Order is welcome.
       Improve Education. Funding is still an issue in Universities. One option is to re-introduce
        fees, but backed by an income-contingent loan scheme. In secondary schools, the key
        challenge is to target resources on students who are struggling.
       Encourage Innovation. The science framework needs to improve before public spending is
        increased further. The many funding agencies could be amalgamated or better co-
        ordinated; public support could shift towards market-driven measures; and resources
        should not be spread too thinly.
       Upgrade Infrastructure. Rigorous cost benefit analysis of infrastructure projects, including
        those in the ten-year transport plan, should play a greater role in decision-making than has
        been the case in the past. Moreover, an increasing number of projects should be financed
        by users.

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Boosting labour supply.

An important option for boosting labour supply is to raise female participation levels. Expanding
day-care for infants and out-of-school care for children will help. From the point of view of labour
market participation, childcare supports such as the new Early Childcare Supplement should be
linked to employment status or made conditional on actually using formal childcare. A mutual-
obligations approach for sole parents would help reduce child poverty by assisting parents to get a
foothold in the labour market. As regards older people, work incentives in the public pension and
welfare systems could be improved. Migrants will also continue to play an important role in
alleviating labour supply bottlenecks. The attractiveness of Ireland for immigrants will be influenced
by the overall price level (including house prices) and the quality of public services.

Macroeconomic risks are high

As one of the OECD’s more open economies, Ireland is particularly exposed to external risks but it
also faces domestic risks. House prices may have overshot fundamentals to some extent, although
this does not imply that they will fall significantly and house building will eventually ease. A soft
landing is the most likely scenario but a sharper fall cannot be ruled out. Hence, the Government
needs to leave plenty of breathing space by balancing the budget or running a surplus, curtailing
tax breaks and pushing ahead with public management reforms to get better value for money from
public expenditure. Policy Brief – Economic Survey of Ireland, 2006. March 2006

3.1.3   NESC Strategy 2006: People, Productivity and Purpose

The latest NESC report on the challenges for Policy and Partnership calls for a new approach to
thinking on National Economic Development. This body now believes that “we need to find a new,
shared understanding of the Irish economy.” “The rational for active policies to strengthen
indigenous enterprise and attract inward investment is changing, as the focus switches from job
creation and boosting recorded national exports to building and finding firms that enhance Ireland’s
position and capabilities in key high-value sectors.

 NESC now proposes a new approach to economic development that requires that we develop
supporting social policies.

          Beyond economic constraints
             and social possibilities

            The long-term                              Social policies must
             strength of the                                   share
             economy now                                 responsibility for
              depends on                                     economic
            effective social                             performance and
                 policy                                    participation

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3.1.4   Irelands Strategic Infrastructure Investment 2020 A&L Goodbody Sept 2005

       If the ESRI’s medium term growth forecasts are achieved, the size of the economy could
        almost double again by 2020. However, unless Ireland’s productive capacity, including its
        infrastructure, is significantly enhanced the economy will perform below its potential.
       According to the latest CSO forecasts, Ireland’s population could increase by almost a
        quarter to 5.1 million by 2020.
       Public capital investment in the region of €140 billion is forecast to be needed by 2020 to
        sustain the Irish economy. The projected capital investment requirement for Northern
        Ireland is approximately an additional €24 billion (2005-2015). This can be detailed as

        Roads                                     €15.5 billion
        Aviation                                  €1.5 billion
        Public Transport                          €25 billion
        Education                                 €15 billion
        Health                                    €10.4 billion
        Government Property/Housing               €40.5 billion
        Energy                                    €5 billion
        Environment                               €27 billion
        Total                                     €139.9 billion

       The public sector will need to be resourced and have the necessary mix of skills to deliver
        the most ambitious investment programme in the next NDP since the foundation of the
       The PCP would need to be increased above the current expenditure limit 5% of GNP if an
        investment programme in the region of €140 billion is to be implemented.
       Proposals made about the financing of public capital projects from private investors,
        pensions funds and non-Exchequer sources have the potential to reduce the level of the
        Exchequer’s commitment.
       Port, rail, health, energy and the aviation sectors are operating at or near full capacity and
        require significant investment.
       In order to achieve the goal of balanced regional development in line with the National
        Spatial Strategy, significant investment is required to develop facilities such as broadband
        infrastructure, road and rail infrastructure and water and waste services in the designated
        gateway areas, hub areas, and along the main transport corridors.
       Infrastructure is a long term asset and needs to be put in place ahead of proven demand.

Some statistics contained in this report which outline the challenges ahead

       Some 973 km of new roads are scheduled for completion between 2005 and 2010.
       Current forecasts predict a 52 % increase in Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV) traffic on
        national primary routes between 2005 and 2020, a 50 % increase in car and Light Goods
        Vehicles (LGV) traffic on national primary routes, and also increase in HGV, car and LGV
        traffic on national secondary and non-national roads.
       According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook (2005), the perceived quality of
        Ireland’s air transportation infrastructure was the third lowest of the 16 countries surveyed.
       An investment requirement of €20 billion over the ten year period to 2015 is under
        consideration {for Public Transport}. Dublin Chamber of Commerce estimate that the public
        transport needs of the Greater Dublin Region will amount to €15 billion during this period.
        Taking into account that the current five-year financial envelope for transport is €10 billion,
        a working assumption is that approximately €25 billion may be needed in the period to
       The Higher Education Authority has identified an investment requirement of some €933
        million for 93 higher education and research projects over the ten years to 2014.
       The CSO predicts a 31% increase in the population of school going age at primary school
        level from 2006 to 2020 {approx increase from 447,000 in 2006 to 584,000 in 2020} and
        forecast an 18% increase in the population of school going age at secondary school level
        from 2006 to 2020 {approx increase from 341,000 in 2006 to 403,000 in 2020}.

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      Over the period to 2020, the all-island gross electricity consumption is forecast to grow by
       some 48 % over current provision, to 54,604 GWh
      In line with the EU RES Directive, Ireland will have to produce 13.2 % of its total electricity
       consumption from renewal energy sources (i.e. wind, biomass, hydro, biofuels) by 2010
       and this would require about 1,400 MW of installed electrical capacity according to the
       Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources.
      Ireland’s population is forecast to be between 4.7 million and 5.1 million by 2020. In the
       upper quartile of OECD performers, the level of provision of in-patients beds per capita is
       8/1000. This equates to a requirement of between 37,600 and 40,800 beds. With a current
       provision of some 13,500 public hospital in-patient beds and day places, some 2,500
       private beds in public hospitals, approximately 1,500 beds in private hospitals and some
       14,465 beds in private nursing homes, this leaves a potential shortfall of 8,835 beds. At an
       approximate capital cost of €500,000 per bed (an industry benchmark), approximately €4.4
       billion may need to be spent in expanding capacity within the public and private sector
      The budget for housing construction represents nearly 40 % of the entire Public Capital
       Programme and if the recommendations made by the National Economic and Social
       Council (NESC) in relation to social and affordable housing are approved by Government
       the allocation could rise even further.
      The decentralization programme may involve construction at some 45 sites across the
      According to an economic study, by 2014 projected volumes {at our ports} will increase by
       almost 16 million tones, or 35 % more that the volumes handled in 2003. The projected
       shortfall in capacity within ten years is around 12.2 million tonnes nationally, of which some
       4.4 million tonnes is unitized trade.
      The multi-annual capital investment framework for the Environment includes allocations of
       €9,280 million between 2005 and 2009.
      Within forecast population growth, a requirement to implement the National Spatial
       Strategy, and bearing in mind current levels of under-funding on environmental services
       infrastructure, an assumption could be made that current levels of capital investment (€1.8
       billion per annum) will be the minimum requirement in the period to 2020 i.e some €27
       billion in total.

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3.1.5 RURAL IRELAND 2025 Foresight Perspectives - NUI Maynooth, UCD, Teagasc 2005

Government policy for rural areas aims to build a rural economy where enterprises will be commercially
competitive without damaging the environment. It seeks to have vibrant sustainable communities, with a
quality of life that will make them attractive places in which to work and live. It aspires for equity of
opportunity between rural and urban areas, and for balanced development between the regions. These
initiatives are underpinned by EU policy for rural areas, which subscribes to the attainment of ‘living
countrysides’ within the context of balanced regional development across the Union.
Are these goals being achieved?
Can they be achieved?

If Current Trends Continue…

A scenario assuming no major changes in current trends, other than those already signalled, will result
in serious failures to achieve the declared policy goals for rural Ireland. Although the aggregate
headline indicators in the national economy are positive, they mask some underlying weaknesses that
adversely affect prospects for the rural economy. On current trends the following outcomes are likely by
• There will not be an acceptable regional balance in Ireland’s economy; population, commercial
agriculture and modern enterprises will be even more concentrated in the east and south than at
• Rural areas, especially in the northwest and north midlands, will lag behind in respect of
communications and other infrastructure, particularly as EU funds will not be available for their further
• There will be dramatic reductions in farmer numbers, lower agricultural prices, and widespread decline
in commercial farming. Lower volumes of farm output will threaten the viability of agri-food processing
• Forested land area will almost double; however, the value of forestry and wood product output will not
increase to the same extent.
• The marine sector will not have reached its inherent potential, especially in terms of value added in
the seafood and renewable energy sectors.
• Provision of public goods from natural resources, including carbon sequestration by forests, will not be
achieved in the absence of adequate attention to the valuation of these public goods and arrangements
to pay their potential suppliers.
• The rural landscape with Ireland’s rich natural and cultural environment will be under continued threat.
• Developments in the broader rural economy will not offset losses and other weaknesses in the natural
resource sectors. Growth in exports from the dominant indigenous enterprises will remain relatively low.
Moreover, it is likely that a large part of manufacturing output from foreign owned enterprises will move
to lower cost economies. In theses circumstances, employment in building and construction will not
continue at current high levels.
• New types of employment will not benefit the many rural communities outside of commuting
catchment zones.

What Future Could Be Achieved?
Rural Ireland in 2025 could be closer to the situation envisaged in the goals for national policies.
However, this requires taking action now on the following:
• The National Spatial Strategy, implemented in conjunction with successive regionally focused national
plans, would result in a more balanced distribution of population and economic activity throughout the
• Rapid communications and supporting infrastructure would provide greater accessibility
throughout all parts of the country.
• The rural economy could sustain more competitive enterprises through the development
of additional entrepreneurial and management skills, as well as further innovation in products, business
organisation and marketing.
• The agri-food industry could have more developed business, technological and innovative capacities,
with a widely differentiated product portfolio selling in international markets.
• Forestry and the ocean economy could be sizeable suppliers to the energy sector and provide valued
public goods.
• Maintenance of an attractive rural environment could be secured by compliance with EU Directives
and payment for public goods, as well as better management systems nationally.

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• A knowledge-based bio-economy could emerge built on the comparative advantage of Ireland’s
natural resources.
• ‘Old economy’ enterprises could be upgraded, and manufacturing small and medium sized enterprises
(SMEs) could increase their contribution to the rural economy.
• Tourism could be a vibrant sector of the rural economy, providing knowledge-based environmental
goods and services, focused on Ireland’s unique landscapes and culture.
• Clusters of internationally oriented companies could exploit the full potential of natural resources in
food, the marine, forestry and tourism.

Realising Attainable National Policy Goals

Overall changes required to achieve the above perspective and the ultimate goals of rural policies are
summarised below.
• Greater commitment to rural and regional development throughout government.
• Construct an effective institutional framework to ensure that policies respond to the defined needs of
the rural economy and rural communities.
• Change in the prevailing mode of policy-making, public administration and policy delivery such as that
               (i) the rhetoric of stated policy is followed through with clear operational programmes,
               especially in relation to the White Paper on Rural Development and the National Spatial
               (ii) public programmes are initiated proactively and are not dependent on Directives from
               (iii) consultation with stakeholders and the completion of value for money audits prior to
               commitment of major initiatives.
• Repositioning of the Irish rural economy in the evolving global economy so that competitiveness,
productivity growth, and transition to a services based knowledge economy are reconciled with
environmental sustainability and rural social viability.
• Acceptance of the fact that while economic competitiveness is a central requirement, much of rural
development provides public goods and their value should be added to relevant receipts from
commercial markets in reaching decisions.
• Recognition that rural development requires a strong focus on multisectoral development, tailored to
the circumstances of different regions and sub-regions and goes beyond agriculture and agricultural
• Emphasis on applying knowledge and research based information in decision-making and innovation
at all levels.
• Stronger operational links between rural and coastal development strategies.

What Are The Most Essential Enabling Measures?
For the proper implementation of the range of strategic initiatives advocated in this Foresight report,
three overarching measures are necessary:
1. Establishment of a Rural Policy
Implementation Group to facilitate efficient resource use in developing a competitive and sustainable
rural economy.
2. Development of Regional Innovation and Research Systems to support the development of a
knowledge based rural economy.
3. Provision of Education and Training
Programmes to raise the human resource capabilities of rural businesses, and of rural
populations generally.

Without these measures the rural economy will not attain the prospects outlined above, and furthermore
the declared goals of rural policy will not be achieved.

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MANs                                 Major Mobility infrastructural
County and Group Broadband Schemes   Corridors                                Growth Pressures

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                                       ESTIMATED LOCAL AUTHORITY INCOME PER CAPITA 2006

                                                                                                                             Av Rates Per
  Galway CC Totals                     36,199,819            17,110,281      53,310,100       159,052            335.17           107.58
  Waterford CC Totals                  21,654,813            7,309,773       28,964,586        62,167            465.92           117.58
  Laois County Council                 17,019,082            8,029,256       25,048,338        67,012            373.79           119.82
  Leitrim County Council               14,128,356            3,483,478       17,611,834        28,837            610.74           120.80
  Meath CC Totals                      27,715,206            20,636,272      48,351,478       162,621            297.33           126.90
  Cavan Totals                         19,981,939            8,361,163       28,343,102        63,961            443.13           130.72
  Roscommon County Council             20,646,920            7,897,103       28,544,023        58,700            486.27           134.53
  Wicklow Totals                       26,341,529            17,835,761      44,177,290       126,330            349.70           141.18
  Westmeath Totals                     21,418,134            11,255,296      32,673,430        79,403            411.49           141.75
  Offaly CC Totals                     16,769,514            10,592,943      27,362,457        70,604            387.55           150.03
  Mayo Totals                          38,396,139            18,765,048      57,161,187       123,648            462.29           151.76
  Wexford Totals                       24,689,570            20,413,647      45,103,217       131,615            342.69           155.10
  South Tipperary CC Totals            27,701,537            12,963,910      40,665,447        83,052            489.64           156.09
  Kilkenny Totals                      21,109,190            13,797,120      34,906,310        87,394            399.41           157.87
  Sligo CC Totals                      19,661,557            9,809,249       29,470,806        60,863            484.22           161.17
  North Tipperary CC Totals            20,250,053            10,654,047      30,904,100        65,988            468.33           161.45
  Longford Totals                      14,526,993            5,920,350       20,447,343        34,361            595.07           172.30
  Carlow Totals                        13,614,164            8,752,893       22,367,057        50,471            443.17           173.42
  Monaghan CC Totals                   16,090,828            9,953,571       26,044,399        55,816            466.61           178.33
  Limerick County Council              24,160,987            25,036,717      49,197,704       131,303            374.69           190.68
  Kildare Totals                       26,029,580            35,880,266      61,909,846       186,075            332.71           192.83
  Donegal CC Totals                    41,190,960            31,594,555      72,785,515       146,956            495.29           214.99
  Kerry CC Totals                      31,317,098            30,653,063      61,970,161       139,616            443.86           219.55
  Louth Totals                         21,844,922            25,824,848      47,669,770       110,894            429.87           232.88
  Cork County Council                  58,527,543            85,774,921      144,302,464      361,766            398.88           237.10
  Clare Totals                         17,791,221            34,565,024      52,356,245       110,800            472.53           311.96
  Galway City Council                   8,765,669            24,981,960      33,747,629        71,983            468.83           347.05
  Waterford City Council                8,030,490            17,513,987      25,544,477        45,775            558.04           382.61
  Fingal County Council                30,317,184            96,173,776      126,490,960      239,813            527.46           401.04
  Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co Co         36,832,637            77,738,243      114,570,880      193,688            591.52           401.36
  South Dublin County Council          24,638,923           103,803,500      128,442,423      246,919            520.18           420.39
  Cork City Council                    24,190,814            52,648,785      76,839,599       119,143            644.94           441.90
  Limerick City Council                10,932,934            26,295,791      37,228,725        52,560            708.31           500.30
  Dublin City Council                  92,187,394           284,511,445      376,698,839      505,739            744.85           562.57

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                                        Analysis of those at work in County Galway

                   Other gainful occupations (incl. not stated)

                                            Army occupations

                                               Garda Siochana

                        Central and local government w orkers


                      Personal service and childcare w orkers

                                  Other professional w orkers

                                         Religious occupations

                      Social w orkers and related occupations

                                   Health and related w orkers

                          Scientific and technical occupations

                              Computer softw are occupations

                         Business and commerce occupations
                                            Sales occupations

                                   Clerical and office w orkers

           Communication, w arehouse and transport w orkers

                                    Managers and executives

                            Building and construction w orkers

                                 Other manufacturing w orkers

 Chemical, paper, w ood, rubber, plastics and printing w orkers

                  Food, drink and tobacco production w orkers

                          Textile, clothing and leather w orkers

                        Engineering and allied trades w orkers

                                     Electrical trades w orkers

                        Farming, fishing and forestry w orkers

                                                                   0   2,000        4,000   6,000   8,000   10,000   12,000

                                                                                      Numbers at work

Figure B1

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                                MAP OF ENTERPRISE IRELANDS DIRECTORY OF
                                MANUFACTURING AND INTERNATIONALLY
                                TRADED SERVICE COMPANIES.

                                                                   Up to 25 Employees

                                                                   25 to 50 Employees   50+ Employees

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                           SERVICE COMPANIES IN COUNTY GALWAY

                                                                  1-15 Employees    51-200 Employees

                                                                  16-50 Employees

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                                        Udaras na Gaeltachta database of Businesses employing 3 or more persons in the Gaeltacht

                                Businesses employing 3-5

                                Businesses employing 6-50

                                Businesses employing 51+

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