Preparation needed now for Village Renewal Scheme
West Tyrone MLA Declan McAleer is calling on local community groups to get their village plans prepared ahead of the new £8million Village Renewal Scheme, which will open for applications in 2015.
According to Mr Mc Aleer
"The Village Renewal Scheme is part of DARD’s Rural Development Programme (2014-2020) and aims to tackle dereliction by supporting the refurbishment of derelict buildings, particularly for use as community facilities.
“The programme, which is currently being considered by the EU Commission, will provide funding for derelict and vacant site enhancement, recreational infrastructure, shop frontage enhancements and environmental improvements.
“The Village Renewal Scheme is linked to village plans and has a particular focus on addressing rural dereliction. Along with the Basic Services Scheme and other measures in the programme, this will help strengthen our villages, which are the heart of rural communities.
“I have met with DARD officials and spoken to the Minister Michelle O'Neill about this programme and during these engagements the importance of a partnership approach between local authorities and communities was underlined.
“DARD has proposed to award grants of up to £500,000 to local councils to roll out village schemes in conjunction with local communities. If villages do not currently have a plan, I strongly encourage them to make contact with the local council to assist them with the planning process.”