Economic Development & Business Support Strategy

Through a shared vision, this strategy demonstrates how collectively, agencies and industry can build a programme of activities planned to stimulate and support local growth. Coming together enables the cultivation of a series of new & unique activities to generate economic development and business support in Carlow.

This strategy provides a roadmap for economic growth up to 2027. The Core focus of this strategy is recovering and growing sustainably to achieve a vibrant county with revitalised towns and villages that creates economic opportunities to enable people and business to thrive.

Carlow County Council plays a pivotal role in developing the county’s economy through the provision of infrastructure, industrial promotion and support for community initiatives in areas of arts, culture and tourism. Using three classifications, this strategy identifies the key priorities sectors with opportunities for Carlow’s economic growth under 3 key pillars of focus.

Classifications & priority sectors.

1. Focus & Change

Businesses that support significant economic growth, due to their strong connections and traditions within the economy but have underdeveloped or underutilised assets.  Financial & Professional Services, ICT, Engineering, Technology and Tourism are all identified as falling under this category.

2. Sustain & Grow

Well-established businesses that offer opportunities for growth through untapped resources or cluster development opportunities. Agri-Tourism, Pharma and Transportation fit within this category.

3. Monitor & Intervene

These enterprises are important to the economy for consumer confidence or vibrancy. They may not produce sustained growth, but potential growth opportunities should be realised. Town regeneration and Green Energy are key sectors in the category with opportunities for retail, retrofitting, best practice and Leader positions.

The 3 Pillars of Focus for growth in these sectors are as follows:

1. Recovery

To support businesses in their recovery. Have the agility to identify and deploy necessary business supports. Provision of training and job search & match services to reactive the labour market and the ability to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits or a permanent remote working culture.

2. Growth & Innovation

Drive the future direction of the economy to deliver a growing and innovative business sector. Provide a supportive environment that creates the conditions for growth. Facilitate & assist cluster creation. Encourage innovation through greater collaboration between industry & new technological opportunities. Stimulate competitiveness with an available skills pipeline & work-ready skills. Attract investment through international marketing and promotion.

3. Revitalised Places, Sustainable Economy

Shift the economy towards achieving environmental targets. Having a Town Centre First approach recognises the importance of Town and village centres for their economic hub potential. Focus on creating a sustainable economy, Opportunity for Carlow to become Carbon neutral leader

This strategy is informed by a broader strategic context of EU priorities, regional strategies and policies, county plan and a SWOC analysis explored through detailed public and stakeholder consultations and a survey of county council members.

The plan takes cognisance of the themes and requirements of all the above and seeks to build upon them for the longer-term success of Carlow, delivering a more competitive economy, business growth and jobs between 2021 and 2027.

Creating a Locally Based Strategy for Economic Resilience – PDF Download