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£7.8m rural funding initiative

Causeway Coast and Glens Local Action Group (LAG) is celebrating the successful delivery of over £7m of funding across the Borough.

Members of the Local Action Group along with Council officials and DAERA representatives at their final Board Meeting on March 3.. Back Row L-R W King, P O’Brien (Council’s Funding Unit Manager), K Eyben, S McLaughlin, Councillor M A McKillop, A Nicholl (DAERA), Alderman M Fielding, P Mullan, G Evans (DAERA Programme Manager). Front Row L-R A McGarvey (Vice-Chairperson), M McCormack, N McFadden (Project Officer), Councillor D Nicholl (Chairperson), Alderman M Knight-McQuillan, A McNickle and T Collins
Members of the Local Action Group along with Council officials and DAERA representatives at their final Board Meeting on March 3.. Back Row L-R W King, P O’Brien (Council’s Funding Unit Manager), K Eyben, S McLaughlin, Councillor M A McKillop, A Nicholl (DAERA), Alderman M Fielding, P Mullan, G Evans (DAERA Programme Manager). Front Row L-R A McGarvey (Vice-Chairperson), M McCormack, N McFadden (Project Officer), Councillor D Nicholl (Chairperson), Alderman M Knight-McQuillan, A McNickle and T Collins

The significant investment has supported new and existing businesses, community organisations, villages, and tourism initiatives in rural locations throughout the Borough, helping to create 156 full-time and 14 part-time jobs.

At its formation in 2016, the LAG was allocated an overall budget of £7.8m as part of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. Since then, the group’s funding has benefited 88 local businesses, 19 community organisations, 20 villages and five tourism projects.

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With the Rural Development Programme now ended, LAG members met for their final Board meeting on March 31 to celebrate its successful completion and reflect on its achievements.

LAG Chairperson Councillor Dermot Nicholl said the programme had provided ‘a welcome financial boost to the entire rural community during the most difficult of times’.

He added: “I would like to pay tribute to our applicants for the part they have played in helping to deliver this programme, and to Council for providing much needed match funding.

“I want to congratulate my fellow Board members for their commitment in ensuring this funding was successfully delivered to our rural dwellers.

“We are very proud of what has been achieved since 2016 and the programme’s contribution to sustainable growth and prosperity through job creation and regeneration.

“I hope that the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will continue to provide funding for local rural communities through the new Rural Development Programme and Causeway Coast and Glens LAG will be standing ready to deliver once again.”

To mark the successful completion of the programme, a hard back book has been created which highlights some of the RDP projects and features a list of its successful funded projects. Please contact [email protected] to arrange for a copy to be collected from the Council offices.

A digital copy of the book is available at www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/news/causeway-coast-and-glens-celebrates-completion-of-7.8m-rural-fundingThe Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 was part funded by DAERA and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

For further information about the impact of the Rural Development Programme in Causeway Coast and Glens go to www.causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk/work/rural-developmentRead more: Council collating support for Ukrainian refugees