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McMullan welcomes £70m fund to tackle rural inequalities

22 October, 2014 - by Oliver McMullan

Sinn Féin Agricultural spokesperson Oliver McMullan has welcomed a £70m fund announced by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to tackle rural inequalities.

Mr McMullan said;

“The £70m Priority 6 fund will be delivered as part of the Rural Development Programme. It will help tackle some of the rural inequalities like poverty, as well as improving rural infrastructure, supporting business development, basic services and the renewal of villages.

“It will also provide funds for activities aimed at the restoration and upgrading of the cultural and natural heritage of rural areas.

“The money divided across ten areas managed by the newly founded Local Action Groups (LAGs) has been allocated on the basis of rural population levels, poverty and deprivation. 

“A minimum level of funding has been set to ensure the effectiveness of the new LAGs.

“The minister has shown that targeting the most vulnerable areas of our society will allow rural communities to come together to become more economically sustainable and provide greater availability and access to basic services.

“This is the minister delivering on tackling inequality and disparity in services for rural areas.  

“This program now awaits European approval. I would encourage community groups and organisations to begin engaging with their Local Action Groups once they are established in the coming months so that the positive impact of these funds can be maximised."

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