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North West Rural Funds doubled

9 June, 2008

An allocation of funding for rural development in the North West has been more than doubled following the intervention of West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty MLA along with Sinn Féin MLA's Martina Anderson and Francie Brolly.

Welcoming the move, Pat Doherty said:

"We decided to intervene following the allocation of EU Development money by the Department of Agriculture.

"Under the original proposals, the North Down and Ards Peninsula area was allocated twice as much as the North West which is a region of far great deprivation.

"We immediately raised this disparity with the Minister Michelle Gildernew and asked her to re-evaluate the statistics used by her Departmental officials to calculate these allocations.

"I am delighted to say that she did so immediately and in the new allocations, the North West's share of the Rural Development Programme has been doubled to more than £11 million.

"I believe this represents a fairer and more accurate allocation for the North West which reflects the reality of the disadvantage in this area and I thank the Minister for her swift and positive response.

"I also want to welcome the fact that half of the RDP axis 3 funds (£100 million) are being allocated by DARD to the council clusters based on deprivation measures for the first time ever." ENDS

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