7.7 Diversification

opendate_range22 Dec, 2020, 9:00am - 12 Mar, 2021, 5:00pm

7.7 Diversification

The diversification of the rural economy from mainstream farming can both supplement existing rural incomes and add to the richness of the rural area. Farming has been diversifying into areas such as horticulture, forestry and agri-tourism. In transitioning to a low carbon economy in line with Government policy, future diversification and adaptation to new energy technologies is seen as an important mechanism to achieve diversification. Renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass will assist in the transition of the local economies of such areas. The Council will support the development of agriculturally related industries, which are environmentally sustainable and considered a suitable use, subject to the protection of heritage and amenities.  In particular, the Council will encourage the conversion of redundant farm buildings for appropriate owner-run diversification enterprises.

It is an objective of the Council to enhance the competitiveness of rural areas by supporting innovation in rural economic development and enterprise through the diversification of the rural economy into new sectors and services, including ICT based industries and those addressing climate change and sustainability in line the NPF.

Industries that are not directly related to agriculture will however be encouraged to locate to settlements so as to support the creation of economies of scale which will underpin the vitality and vibrancy of these rural settlements.