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1,800 projects benefited from Rural Development funds – O’Neill

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has announced that the Rural Development Programme is at full commitment, with £86million committed within Axis 3 to over 1,800 projects.
Friday, 18 April 2014

The Minister was speaking at an event at the Ulster American Folk Park, near Omagh to mark the achievement that £10million has been spent on projects funded under the ‘Quality of Life’ Axis of the Rural Development Programme across the council areas of Limavady, Derry, Strabane and Omagh.

She said: "All these projects have a common thread which is to contribute to sustainable rural business and thriving rural communities, which I firmly believe is a central component of a successful Rural Development Programme."

The Minister spoke then about the proposed new RDP 2014 - 2020: "I will continue to work hard to ensure that the next phase of development support and funding for rural areas and businesses will build on the many successes of the current Programme."

The effective delivery of spend on the projects was overseen by a Joint Council Committee, which was made up of representatives from each of the council areas.

Chair of the Joint Council Committee Cllr Allan Rainey said: "ARC NW’s delivery of DARD’s Axis 3 Rural Development Programme has made a huge impact locally on rural communities.

"We have now surpassed the milestone spend figure of £10million and I have no doubt at all that the legacy of ARC NW programmes will be that of making a real difference to the lives and wellbeing of rural people.

"On behalf of my colleagues in the JCC, I want to thank the ARC NW Local Action Group and the ARC NW staff for their determination and effort in achieving this target."

Notes to editors:

  1. The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and over this period is worth £500million to the north.
  2. The allocation to the ARC NW cluster (Omagh, Derry, Strabane and Limavady council areas) was £18,101,867 to deliver Axis 3 ‘Quality of Life’ Measures of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013. For further information please check their website.
  3. This component of the RDP contains the following measures:
    · Diversification into non-agricultural activities – Farm Diversification
    · Business creation and development
    · Encouragement of tourism activities
    · Basic services for the economy and rural population
    · Village renewal and development
    · Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage.
    Youthlife, based at office, 23 Bishop Street, Derry, provide a wide range of programmes to children and young people who have experienced bereavement and loss in their lives. Youthlife were awarded £51,670 from ARC NW under Axis 3, Measure 3.4: "Basic Services for the Economy and Rural Population" towards total projected project costs of £68,894. Youthlife provided the match funding of £17,224.
  5. Youthlife’s RDP funded project ‘Growing Through Change’ provided support to young people who had been disadvantaged by a negative life experience, including death of a parent or sibling; divorce or separation of parents through the creation of a safe supported, confidential space in a residential environment for young people experiencing mental health difficulties as a result. The Programme was delivered on a weekend residential basis in the Ulster American Folk Park outside Omagh.
  6. All media enquiries to DARD Press Office, telephone 028 9052 4619. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440, and your call will be returned.