Minister launches £11 million programme

DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen has launched the �11m Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership. Pictured with the Minister at the launch in Ballynahinch are Chairperson of the Rural Development Partnership Nicholas McCrickard and Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Gillian Fitzpatrick
DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen has launched the �11m Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership. Pictured with the Minister at the launch in Ballynahinch are Chairperson of the Rural Development Partnership Nicholas McCrickard and Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Gillian Fitzpatrick
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Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has launched a £11million rural investment scheme in Newry, Mourne and Down.

The Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Development Partnership will deliver direct grant aid to projects in the area across a range of schemes, with the overall aim of stimulating the economy and improving the quality of life for residents.

Speaking as she attended a special launch event in Ballynahinch, Miss McIlveen said: “As Minister with responsibility for rural affairs, I am committed to protecting and enhancing the quality of life for the high proportion of Northern Ireland citizens that live in rural areas.”

The Mourne, Gullion and Lecale Rural Partnership will roll out four key schemes which together will lead to the investment of up to £11.18million of grant aid in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area:

- Rural Business Investment to support for the creation and development of micro and small enterprises (including farm diversification and private tourism businesses) in rural areas.

- Rural Basic Services, to support capital investments which will provide access to basic services or improvements in social infrastructure (including activities to reduce isolation and/or poverty) to improve the welfare and access to basic services of those living in rural areas.

- Village Renewal, which will provide financial support primarily for the drafting of integrated village plans and also for the renewal of rural villages through village plans.

- Rural Broadband, which will provide financial support to fill the gap for rural dwellers who cannot avail of broadband and will help address the very rural ‘not spots’ that are not within the scope of any other government initiatives.

For more information on the support available or to discuss a potential project contact a member of the Rural Development Team at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on 0300 013 2233 or visit the website at http://www.mournegullionlecale.com