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Local Action Group Ploughing Ahead with Rural Development Strategy

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BT Coleraine

The Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group (LAG) has developed a Local Rural Development Strategy for the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough. The strategy sets out how the group seeks to improve the lives of rural communities within the Borough over the next 5 years.

The Local Action Group has been allocated £7.87million of funding for projects within rural areas of the Borough under Priority 6 of the NI Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020. The programme is part financed by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Having undertaken consultation with various stakeholders within the Borough over the last six months the strategy proposes how this funding will be allocated.  DARD is currently considering the strategy and formal approval is anticipated soon.

Patsy Bradley, Interim Chair, Causeway Coast and Glens LAG, said “Having worked in Rural Development for many years, I am a great believer in using the LEADER ‘bottom up’ delivery approach.  The Interim Strategy has been developed in consultation and partnership with the local rural community to address the needs of the rural community.

“This new Programme is a wonderful opportunity for private businesses and community organisations in our new Borough Council area to benefit from the substantial funds available.  The other members of the LAG and I look forward to working with the rural community and to the successful delivery of the programme over the next 5 years.”

Councillor William King MBE, Interim Deputy Chair added, “I have also been involved with Rural Development for some years.  We are in the lucky position that we have a great mixture of members on our new Local Action Group, all of whom are keen that the rural communities in our Borough benefit from the funding available.  We have a wide variety of views with new and fresh ideas for the area and I am very much looking forward to working with everyone to get the best for our rural community over the next few years.”

Causeway Coast and Glens LAG will be holding a series of information sessions and then funding workshops in the coming months. Speaking about the sessions Suzanne Irwin, Rural Development Programme Manager, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said “As soon as the LAG launches their Strategy we intend to run a number of workshops throughout the Borough, prior to opening for our first call for applications.

“In facilitating the information sessions we want to prepare as many people as possible in terms of what is needed before you would submit an application to the LAG. This will allow people to get organised for when we are open for applications and hold our mandatory funding workshops which will form part of the application process”.

For further information on what’s happening on the NI Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 in the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council area contact staff at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on 028 7034 7034 (Coleraine Office) or 028 7776 0306 (Limavady Office). Alternatively visit www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/work/rural-development.

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