South and West Sligo Tourism are delighted to support the SARURE project which is tasked with improving policies aimed at SME competitiveness. Following on from their successful event “The Future of Retail in Rural Sligo” in Ballymote in November 2019 with guest speaker Jean McCabe from Willow, SARURE South Sligo plans for 2020 had to be paused in March. With the onset of COVID19 all events and projects were paused and rural retail, which was already struggling, has taken a heavy blow over the past few months. This is especially true in South Sligo. However, businesses are now starting to reopen as each one of the lockdown phases continues. Various local businesses were able to avail of government supports to get their business online for the first time.

The SARURE team has sought to reinvigorate the project and began with an online stakeholders meeting in May followed up by a virtual international partner meeting in June including participants from a range of countries including Spain, Germany, Poland, Greece, Finland and Sweden.  These meetings were aimed at mapping out the continuation of this important project in the context of ongoing public health restrictions.  Following from the meetings it is hoped to hold public events in the Autumn of this year along with the development of a range of actions that will be delivered upon over 2021 and 2022.

Ray O’Grady, co-ordinator of the project for Sligo County Council said “The SARURE South Sligo project restarted in May with an online stakeholders meeting and plans are firmly in place to drive forward with its objectives. A process has started which will create actions for support of rural retail in South Sligo. We are hoping to run a number of events in the Autumn and the international delegation planned for this Summer, will now visit in 2021. We are delighted to see the project continue and look forward to strong progress in to remainder of this year”. For further information and news on the project and future events please follow their Facebook page, SARURE South Sligo or visit