O’Neill Welcomes Additional £19.9M Funding For Farming And Rural Communities


NI Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has welcomed the announcement that farming and rural communities are to receive additional funding of £19.9m from the 2014/15 Capital Reallocation exercise.

The additional allocation will allow for the continuation of a number of important Rural Development Programme (RDP) projects, DARD’s contribution to rural broadband and help support DARD actions to deliver on the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s Going for Growth objectives.dn_screen

There will also be additional investment for flood alleviation works in East Belfast and Beragh (Co.Tyrone) as well as for the Agriculture, Food and Bio-Sciences Institute (AFBI) and the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

Michelle O’Neill said: “I am pleased that my bid for additional funding has been approved, which will allow my Department to support a range of actions, helping to ensure that good projects continue to be supported under Axis 3 during the last year of the RDP Programme, in addition to flood alleviation schemes in East Belfast and County Tyrone, as well as the aims and objectives of the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s Going for Growth.

“This allocation will mean that the Rural Development Programme is well positioned to maximise the drawdown of European funding and will ensure that existing letters of offer can be honoured across the rural areas of the North.”

The Minister also announced that the current tranche of the Farm Modernisation Programme is to be extended following  the allocation.

She added: “I am pleased that letters of offer will issue as soon as possible to farmers who applied but just missed out under the first allocation of Tranche 3 funding. This will allow for continued investment in farm modernisation, including items that contribute to farm safety.”