Some 1,800 projects in Northern Ireland have benefitted from Rural Development funds, according to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Michelle O’Neill, totalling £86 million.
The Minister was speaking at an event at the Ulster American Folk Park, near Omagh to mark the achievement that £10 million 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.
“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 £10 million 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.