The Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group (LAG) is starting to develop the Strategy for the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 for the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.
The main themes being considered for the new strategy will be Business Investment, Village Renewal, Rural Broadband and Basic Services.
In order to ensure that the strategy is representative of the priorities in the rural areas, the LAG is holding a number of public consultation events across the Borough in August. The details of these consultations are as follows: Monday 17th August 2015 from 7.30pm until 9.30pm in Loughgiel Community Association; Tuesday 18th August 2015 from 7.30pm until 9.30pm in Garvagh Community Building; Wednesday 19th August 2015 from 7.30pm until 9.30pm in The Glens Hotel, Cushendall; Thursday 20th August 2015 from 7.00pm until 9.00pm in Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady; and on Monday 24th August 2015 from 7.30pm until 9.30pm in Bushmills Community Centre.
Patsy Bradley, Interim Chair of the LAG said, “These consultations are an opportunity for the rural community in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough to have an input to the strategy and to tell us their views and priorities for the next 5 year period. We have a substantial allocation for this area and want to ensure that we target the needs of the community. The meetings are open to everyone and we would encourage attendance from all parts of our Borough.”
- DARD submitted the draft Rural Development Programme for Northern Ireland to the European Commission in October 2014. It is expected that the Commission will formally accept the proposal in September 2015. Once the programme is approved, DARD will be in a position to enter into a contract with the Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group (LAG) for the implementation of Priority 6.
- The CC&G LAG will be responsible for delivering Priority 6 of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD). Priority 6 relates to Social inclusion, poverty reduction and rural economic development. The six schemes available under Priority 6 are:
- Rural Business Investment Scheme
- Village Renewal Scheme
- Rural Broadband Scheme
- Rural Basic Services Scheme
- Leader Cooperation Scheme
- Rural Tourism Scheme (Managed directly by DARD).
- The Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group (LAG) is made up of representatives from the Borough. There are 10 Social partners and 8 Elected members (names below).
- Social Partners:
- Alan Hunter, Angela O’Hagan, Ann Clyde, Anthony McGarvey, Conor Nicholl, James Cassidy, Karl McKillop, Martin Magee, Patsy Bradley (Interim Chair), Susan McLaughlin
- Elected Members:
- Cllrs Aaron Callan, Dermot Nicholl, Ian Stevenson, Mark Fielding, Margaret Anne McKillop, Michelle Knight-McQuillan, Philip McGuigan, William King (Interim Vice-Chair)
- Social Partners:
- In developing the strategy, the LAG will be using a LEADER approach, ie, a bottom up approach, to ensure we have an area-based local strategy that is influenced and developed by local people and that includes the priorities as identified by the rural community in our area.
- The LAG for the Causeway Coast and Glens area has been allocated a budget of £9.6million for the period of the programme. Up to 22% of this is for administrative and animation costs and the remaining budget will be for allocation to projects. [This budget will be confirmed following European approval of the Programme.]
- NISRA in their Review of the Statistical Classification and Delineation of Settlements (March 2015) has suggested that the classification of a rural area is a population of less than 5,000.