West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Approval of Rural Development Programme will benefit entire rural community

Published: 1 September, 2015

Sinn Féin representative Grace McDermott has said the approval of the Rural Development Programme by the European Commission will allow DARD Minister Michelle O'Neill to tackle inequalities throughout rural communities.

Speaking this week Ms McDermott said,

"The approval of £623 million in the latest Rural Development Programme will allow the Minister to continue her strategy of bringing equality and prosperity to rural community's right across the North.

"The money will be used for job creation, training, infrastructure, education, cross border opportunities and developing the farming and agri-food sectors.

"This programme will allow the Minister to continue to develop the rural economy with increased infrastructure such as high speed broadband and better transport links.

"It will also help tackle social isolation and support young and older people's needs leading to a better quality of life by creating new sporting and training facilities.

"Money will also be directed towards farmers and the agri-food sector in order to develop and protect the industry by opening up new markets especially building on cross border opportunities.

"This is the largest amount of money accrued for the Rural Development Programme and the Minister needs to be congratulated for her hard work and perseverance in fighting for the rights of the rural communities in the North.

"I will be meeting with the minister in the coming weeks to get more detail on how this programme will be rolled out in the months and years ahead."