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Gildernew meets Cappagh Village Regeneration Group

7 August, 2009


Sinn Féin Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP, MLA has met with representatives from the Cappagh Village Regeneration Group to discuss village regeneration initiatives.

Cappagh is a small rural village in County Tyrone, situated between Pomeroy and Ballygawley. A Village Regeneration Group was formed at the start of the year to look at ways of regenerating the area to meet the social, physical, economic and environmental needs of the village and the community.

The Minister walked around the village and met community representatives to hear first hand about the challenges and opportunities for the rural village.

Minister Gildernew said:

"Cappagh is one of only a few examples left of a village that has been forgotten in terms of regeneration. The need for services and job creation is obvious, and I believe we have an obligation to redress the years of neglect that this community has suffered. Having walked around the village and discussed the proposed developments, there is a huge amount of potential for revitalising this rural village and I would encourage the local community to get involved in improving their own area. The regeneration of Cappagh is vital to the long term economic sustainability and growth of the village."

During the meeting the Minister highlighted some of the key initiatives currently being progressed by the Department, including the Anti-Poverty and Social Inclusion Framework, the Rural Childcare Programme and opportunities available through the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP).

She said:

“The Rural Development Programme represents the largest single investment in rural areas in the North. Opportunities exist through the ‘Basic Services for the economy and rural population’ and ‘Village renewal and development’ programmes that aim to improve the living conditions of those living in rural areas through the development of basic services and village initiatives, which promote community development and regeneration.

“I believe that the people on the ground know best when it comes to meeting local needs. The Cappagh Village Regeneration Group are making a valuable contribution to developing their area and I would urge them to work closely with the Local Action Group responsible for the delivery of this aspect of the RDP.”

Cathy Clarke, Chair of Cappagh Village Regeneration Group said:

"We welcome Minister Gildernew here today to meet our group and are encouraged to gain an insight of potential resources which will be available including childcare, business development, farm diversification in addition to culture, heritage, tourism and basic services for rural areas."

Further information on the Rural Development Programme and the assistance available can be found at www.rdpni.info or by calling 0845 3044 509 to request an information pack. The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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