Rural communities and businesses in Mid Ulster are set to benefit from over £8M in LEADER project funding through the new Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme.
Designed to support business development in new or existing businesses, job creation, as well as to improve basic services and social inclusion in rural areas, the funding programme will open for applications later this year.
Part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), the programme will be delivered locally by the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership, the new LEADER local action group for district, which is made up of members of the local community as well as local Councillors.
Chairman of the Mid Ulster Rural Development Partnership, Mr Austin Kelly, said:
“This funding will provide significant opportunities rural business and communities to grow and develop. The Partnership will be working over the coming months to ensure that as many eligible rural businesses and communities as possible are made aware of the funding opportunities available before calls for applications are made”.
To help applicants understand the programme and application process, the Partnership is holding a series of information clinics, as Mr Kelly explained:
“One of our first priorities is to make sure that local people understand the process and can make the most of the opportunity to benefit from the funding available, so we would encourage anyone with a project idea to drop into one of the clinics and talk to one of our staff for help and advice”.
The information sessions will take place on:
- Monday 1 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Corick House Hotel, Clogher
- Thursday 4 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Tullylagan Country House Hotel, Cookstown
- Tuesday 9 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera
- Thursday 11 February, 6.30pm – 8.30pm in 3rd floor, Corn Mill, Coalisland
For further information on LEADER Rural Development funding and the application process, contact the rural development team at Mid Ulster District Council on 028 8676 4714 or email [email protected]