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Community groups should formulate proposals for £500m Rural Development Programme

7 December, 2007

Sinn Féin West Tyrone Cllr Barry McElduff MLA has called on local community groups to formulate proposals to shape the rural develop programme. The funding programme, administered by DARD amounts to over £500 million and aims to strengthen social and economic infrastructure of rural areas and conserving and investing in rural areas.

Cllr McElduff said:

"Omagh District council has taken a lead in terms of the RDP. We will have to 'cluster' with various others councils in order to distribute the funding for RDP. Both Omagh and Strabane District Council areas are in negotiations with Derry and Limavady Councils with the objective of forming a North West Cluster.

"Amongst the areas which the money will be going to include Farm Diversification, Microbusiness, Tourism, Access to basic services, Village regeneration and Built heritage. Applications can be made in March/April of 2008 to Local Action Groups. The Local Action Groups will be made up of coal councillors and social partners.

"I would urge community groups and rural bodies to formulate proposals and consulate the rural community for the RDP and help to shape it." ENDS

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