O’Neill Encourages Rural Groups To Prepare For New Rural Development Programme

Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has called on community and voluntary groups in rural areas to get involved in the decision making process for the new Rural Development Programme (2014-2020) through the forthcoming consultation process by Local Action Groups (LAG’s).

dn_screenLAG’s will be consulting as part of their preparations in developing local Rural Development Strategies to prioritise the funding available through Priority 6 of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme. Schemes within Priority 6 will help deliver access to basic services in rural areas and financial assistance for village renewal projects.

Speaking at the official opening of the Axis 3 funded Ionad Teaghlaigh (family centre) in Crumlin village, Co Antrim, Minister O’Neill said: “Local Action Groups will shortly be consulting across the rural north to help inform the development of their local Rural Development strategies to prioritise LEADER funding for the 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.

“I would therefore encourage all rural community/voluntary groups to take the opportunity of getting involved in the decision making process and highlighting the needs for their local rural communities.’’

The Minister added: “Having visited many rural projects recently I am acutely aware of the experience within the community/voluntary sector and the capability to deliver on excellent projects such as the Ionad Teaghlaigh here in Crumlin village. Such projects make a significant difference to rural community life, including health and wellbeing benefits.

“I can assure you that one of my main priorities is to continue with the fantastic achievements under the 2007-2013 Rural Development Programme and I want to make further funding opportunities available to all rural areas of the north.’’