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What is the RAPID Programme?

The Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development (RAPID) programme is aimed at improving the quality of life and the opportunity available to residents of the most disadvantaged communities in Irish cities and towns. It aims, in a focused and practical way, to reduce the deprivations faced by residents of disadvantaged communities. It attempts to do this through targeting significant state resources at the needs of disadvantaged areas.

Local Programme Objectives

In each local RAPID area, a local plan has been developed which defines a series of issues, objectives and actions that are key to the RAPID programme locally. Nationally defined programme objectives set a framework within which local plans are developed. This framework intentionally allows local areas full scope to define the practical issues which are of most importance in responding to local disadvantage and need. Decision-making on what is contained in the local RAPID plan happens within each area. The knowledge and experience of the local community and the other RAPID participants have been the basis for developing these local plans to reflect the local situation and meet local needs.


The programme is led by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. Regionally, the programme is overseen by the relevant City or County Development Board. At local level, planning and implementation is overseen by the Area Implementation Team (AIT). Each area is also supported by the RAPID Co-ordinator, and nationally the programme is supported by Pobal. Each RAPID co-ordinator reports throughout the year on local progress generally, as well as on specific thematic reporting, covering local projects and investments.

Where are the RAPID areas located?

There are 51 RAPID areas located in cities & towns around Ireland. Click on the local area maps listed below to view a map of that area in PDF format or click on the RAPID Ireland map to view a larger map showing all areas. RAPID Ireland map.

Strand 1 was launched in 25 urban areas in February 2001: RAPID Local Area Maps:
Blanchardstown, Cork KC, Cork FGF, Cork BGM, Cork TM, Dundalk, Drogheda, Ballyfermot, Ballymun, Finglas, Dublin Northside, Dublin NEIC, Dublin SEIC, Dublin SIC, Dublin SWIC, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Limerick Ballynanty & Killeely, Limerick Kings Island Bishops Palace, Limerick Southside, South Dublin Clondalkin, South Dublin Tallaght Jobstown, South Dublin Tallaght Fettercairn, South Dublin Tallaght Killinarden, Waterford

Strand 2 was launched in February 2002. A whole town approach has been adopted for each of the smaller towns in this strand, but with the greatest emphasis being given to areas of concentration of disadvantage within the town. In larger towns, the RAPID Programme will generally focus on specific areas within the towns.
Athlone, Athy, Ballinasloe, Carlow, Carrick on Suir, Cavan, Clonmel, Ennis, Galway, Kilkenny, Longford, Mallow, Navan, New Ross, Sligo, Tipperary, Tralee, Tuam, Wexford, Youghal

In late 2009, following an independent review of the findings from the 2006 Census returns five new areas were launched. Maps to the new RAPID areas can be found here:
Ballina, Dungarvan, Enniscorthy, Mullingar, Rathkeale

What is an Area Implementation Team?

An Area Implementation Team (AIT) was established in each of the 51 areas to develop a plan for their area. This was achieved by bringing together local State Agency personnel (Health Board, Local Authority, VEC, Dept of Social Protection, FÁS, etc) the Local Development Company, residents of the local community and, where they exist, Local Drugs Task Forces to prepare a plan identifying the needs of each area. The AIT remains the core management structure for the implementation of the RAPID Programme at local level. As the RAPID programme has developed and progressed over the years, so too has the role and function of the AIT. Its main responsibilities are

• Take responsibility for the planning and implementation of the local RAPID programme.

• Ensure that an appropriate Local Area Plan is developed.

• Support and enable the work of Task Groups.

• Ensure appropriate community input into the development of this plan.

• Provide progress reports and information to the regional and national RAPID structures.

What is the RAPID Coordinator’s role?

The RAPID Co-ordinator is instrumental in organising and assisting the Area Implementation Team in developing and implementing its plan; in working with the local community and agencies to identify need; in maximise agency/community participation and in ensuring co-ordinated delivery of services and investment. The Co-ordinators responsibilities include negotiating local opportunities, inputting into ranges of planning/delivery/monitoring of local projects and ensuring that the programme takes full advantage of available resources.

What is Pobal’s role in the RAPID Programme?

Pobal provide support, create a forum for exchange of experience and learning, collect monitoring information and act as a central source of information on the programme’s activities and progress.

Pobal support the programme by organising national events such as training on relevant issues and to exchange information on successful approaches and best practice.

Regional cluster meetings are organised to look at issues of particular relevance (for example the mechanisms of state service delivery within a region) and at particular strands of work taking place across a number of RAPID areas (for example, projects dealing with Community Safety).

Individual support is available to Local Co-ordinators on the key issues of concern to them within their area.

A support budget is made available to RAPID areas to facilitate community participation and communication. Pobal receives an annual allocation from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and prepares guidelines for areas to prepare submissions. Following assessment by the National Team in Pobal and decisions by the Pobal board, funds are transferred to a local fund holder (local authority or development company) for expenditure during the year.

How is the RAPID Programme monitored?

Rapid Co-ordinators are tasked throughout the year with compiling reports on their progress at a local level, which are then submitted to Pobal. These monitoring reports focus on a specific theme of the programme, highlighting progress made on the theme, improvements delivered, and additional services achieved.

The monitoring reports also collect general data on the RAPID area as a whole, such as recent projects initiated, project progress, and details of investment information for the area.

What are the RAPID Strategic Themes?

RAPID now operates within a set of agreed strategic themes. These themes are:

• Community Safety and Anti-social Behaviour
• Health
• Family Support
• Environmental issues
• Youth
• Education
• Training and Employment

Under the themed approach, RAPID areas plan and deliver all of their key activities within these themes. This offers a number of advantages to the programme. In particular, it allows a focus by key departments and agencies on the issues within their remit which are of particular importance to RAPID Communities.

Pobal worked intensively with the DECLG and a range of lead Government Departments and agencies to define theme contents, resources, working methods and outputs. This resulted in a clear set of theme definitions being made available for the use of local areas and the development of guidance documents for the approach as a whole and for each individual component.