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MGL Press Release

Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership is the newly formed Local Action Group (LAG) for the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. The LAG is currently developing a rural strategy to deliver the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020.

Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development partnership’s interim Chairman, Nicholas McCrickard said, “The Board has now been formally accepted by The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to represent the rural community of the Mourne, Gullion and Lecale area for the next four years. We are also delighted to have received the excellent news that the full Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme has been agreed by the European Commission. This means the LAG can now develop a strategy for the area in a way that impacts best for the entire community, the £11 million is a significant investment which has the potential to make a huge difference to the rural population.”

In order to ensure that the strategy is representative of the priorities in our rural areas a number of public consultation events have taken place across the district. These were attended by rural businesses, communities and all those interested in the development of their rural area.

The main schemes being considered for the new strategy will be Rural Business Investment, Basic Services in Rural Areas, Village Renewal, Rural Broadband and Co-operation. It is anticipated that calls for applications under the Rural Development Programme will open in 2016. In the meantime local businesses and community organisations are encouraged to begin the process of planning their application by preparing a well thought out project, developing a business plan, applying for planning permission and seeking match funding.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Naomi Bailie, welcomed the newly formed Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership, “The Rural Development Programme has the potential to make a substantial impact on the quality of life in rural communities and reduce social isolation. This Local Action Group has a significant role to play in developing a strategy that will ensure £11 million of funding is distributed across the district, I look forward to seeing the results within the coming years.

The administration for the Rural Development Programme will be provided by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, for more information contact 0300 013 2233 ext. 2506 (Downpatrick office).

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