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Gildernew announces RDP funding allocations

14 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has announced the initial allocations of funding from the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013.

£50 million will be allocated across the seven council clusters and they will now begin the process of developing rural development strategies. The strategies will identify actions that will support improvements to the quality of life in rural areas and the diversification and development of the rural economy. After they have been competitively assessed a further £50m will be allocated across the clusters.

Outlining the announcement the Minister said:

"This initial portion was allocated to the council clusters on the basis of their rural population weighted by deprivation. This money will help the council clusters to make a real difference in delivering on the big issues that cut across all rural communities.

"It is to the local councils' credit that they are striving to get the RDP up and running as soon as possible. The next stage in the process provides a real opportunity for rural dwellers to influence the strategies that will be drawn up in each of their areas. I would encourage everyone to play a full and active part in this new programme."

The Rural Development Programme is funded under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The allocations were calculated on the basis of equally weighted shares of cluster population, deprivation scale and deprivation extent.

Notes to Editors:

Allocations to clusters as follows:

Cluster Allocation

North East £6,211,991
North West £11,259,048
Mid Ulster £12,721,715
Craigavon £9,570,714
Down £6,592,695
Antrim £1,793,712
Lisburn £1,850,124

The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 was approved by the European Commission on 24 July 2007. Approx £100million of the funding through Axis 3 will be delivered at community level with new local action groups developing tailored strategies and programmes for their area.

Axis 3 of the programme contains the following measures:

3.1: Diversification into non-agricultural activities
3.2: Business creation and development
3.3: Encouragement of tourism activities
3.4: Basic services for the economy and rural population
3.5: Village renewal and development
3.6: Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage

The Minister had asked local councils to come together in clusters to deliver the new programme on a sub-regional basis, and seven clusters were formed. Each cluster will work with a new, locally formed Action Group to prepare and implement a local rural development strategy aimed at addressing need in the area.

The allocations were calculated on the basis of equally weighted shares of cluster population, deprivation scale and deprivation extent (i.e. 1/3 population; 1/3 deprivation scale; 1/3 deprivation extent).

  1. Deprivation scale: First third was allocated according to the number of income deprived people in each Cluster, irrespective of whether they lived in a deprived area or not, as a share of the total number of income deprived across the seven cluster areas.
  2. Population: A second third of the money was allocated amongst the seven clusters on the basis of each clusters share of the North of Ireland's rural population (the population of the 1611 OA's).
  3. Deprivation Extent: Third [tranche] of the money was allocated on the basis of people living in the most deprived parts of the North of Ireland, based on the OA Economic Deprivation measure.

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