£2.3 million initial call for Rural Development Grant in Limavady
Sinn Féin Councillor Paddy Butcher has announced that applications in the Limavady area for grant assistance under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) has already topped £2.3million across 78 projects when the first call closed at 12 noon last Friday. Cllr Butcher serves on the Joint Committee which governs the distribution of the £18.4 million fund locally.
Cllr Butcher said.
“This is very encouraging. Indeed the level of interest in Limavady Borough has exceeded all expectations. This £2.3million together with 50% match funding would represent a £4.6million boost for our local economy.
"It is a very positive barometer of the confidence and determination of our local entrepreneurs to rise to the challenge of the global economic downturn and get the people of our borough back to work. It is also a credit to the promotional groundwork which Catherine Walsh (RDP Project Officer) and Caitriona Orr (Business and Project Officer) have undertaken over the last six months throughout the borough of Limavady.
“There are six measures in the total fund but we took a strategic decision to prioritize Measures 3.1 Diversification into Non -Agricultural Activities and 3.2 Business Creation and Development because they are exclusively targeted at job creation. The other four measures will be launched in September and hopefully we can reopen 3.1 and 3.2 again before Christmas.”
A number of applications will require planning permission and if they are successful letters of offer will be issued subject to receiving statutory approval within a reasonable period of time say six months. Cllr Butcher, who is also Chairperson of the Planning and Services Committee, has organised a public meeting with the Planning Office on Wednesday 12th August at 2.30pm at the council offices on Connell Street.
“We intend to do everything in our power to fast track grant dependant planning applications under the RDP scheme.” concluded Cllr Butcher.
“We will provide information on the types of applications and forms needed, the policies that need to be addressed in relation to making the applications and then finish with a questions and answers session relating to possible fees and planning constraints. Obviously we will not be able to give individual advice on which schemes are likely to be successful or not but we will direct people towards relevant policy as these applications are usually quite complicated. Anyone wishing to attend this public meeting should advise Catherine or Caitriona so that we can arrange tea and coffee from 2.00pm.” CRÍOCH