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Regional and Rural Development must be adequately funded

3 November, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has called for community organisations to have a greater say in designing and implementing Rural and Regional development programmes. She has also called for these programmes to be adequately funded.

Ms de Brún made the call in Rural Derry today where she was taking the temperature of local community opinion in advance of a major conference in Newcastle upon Tyne next week. The conference is organised as part of the British EU Presidency.

The Sinn Féin MEP will travel to Newcastle upon Tyne as part of the European Parliament Regional Development committee delegation to discuss the EU's Regional and Rural Development programmes for 2007-2013.

Ms de Brún has been involved in a number of discussions with local stakeholders about these future programmes.

Her meetings today include visits to Eglington, Claudy and Park areas of Rural Derry as well as meetings in Derry City.

Ms de Brún said:

"We need a bottom up approach to the design and implementation of the next round of Rural and Regional Development Programmes. We also need a set of properly funded programmes to ensure that areas are not left behind as the economy develops and improves.

"These are the messages I will bring to those I meet at the British EU Presidency conference next week as well as the practical experience of groups working in local communities across the North." ENDS

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