Rural Development Programme consultation events

The View from Northern Ireland: There will be a series of public consultation events on the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill has  announced this morning.

The public consultation on the draft NI Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 was launched on 1 July 2013 and will remain open for 16 weeks, closing at 5pm on 21 October 2013.

The Minister said: “The next Rural Development Programme is going to play a huge role in shaping the lives of everyone working or living in our countryside over the next seven years. It is essential that as many people as possible have their say on what should be in the Programme. So whether you are a farmer, a landowner, a member of a farm family, a rural business, a rural social enterprise or simply live in a rural area, I want to hear from you.”

The Minister added: “This is a great opportunity to find out more about our proposals and to hear what others are thinking about our next Rural Development Programme. Your participation is key to making sure that the next Programme does the things that you want it to do. I urge you to make every effort to attend.”

Six public consultation events are planned on a county basis across the north of Ireland. Details of these events are as follows:

· Wednesday 28 August, Greenmount College, 45 Tirgracy Road, Antrim, Co. Antrim.
· Tuesday 3 September, CAFRE Enniskillen Campus, 2 Mullaghmeen Road, Levaghy, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
· Thursday 5 September, Loughry Campus, 76 Dungannon Road, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone.
· Tuesday 10 September, Benedy Community Centre, 72 Corrick Road, Dungiven, Co. Derry
· Thursday 12 September, Armagh City Hotel, 2 Friary Road, Armagh, Co. Armagh.
· Tuesday 17 September, The Lodge, 1 Dublin Road, Castlewellan, Co. Down.

These public consultation events are being hosted by DARD and will begin at 7pm, concluding at 9pm. Attendees will hear about the proposals for the next Programme and will have the opportunity to ask questions of DARD officials.

Details of the consultation can be found on the DARD website here and the NI Direct website here.

Pictured Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill is joined by Teresa Canavan from the Rural Development Council to promote a series of public consultation events on the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.