£70m rural development funding welcomed

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
South Armagh Sinn Féin representatives have welcomed a significant announcement made by DRD Minister Michelle O’Neill. The Priority 6 Budget which totals almost £70 million is aimed at tackling rural inequalities. Welcoming the news South Armagh MLA Megan Fearon said, “Since becoming an MLA for this area I have been highlighting the lack of funding and opportunities that rural communities are facing and this news is fantastic for our communities. “The monies will be divided across ten areas of the north and these will be managed by Local Action Groups (LAGS) and has been allocated on the basis of rural population levels, poverty and deprivation. “A minimal level of funding has been set to ensure the effectiveness of these new LAGS. While this program now awaits European approval, I would encourage local community groups and organisations to begin talking with their Local Action Groups as soon as they are established.” Fearon’s colleague councillor Terry Hearty also spoke about the news. “This is a great opportunity for communities to work closely and deal with some of the inequalities that we have had to live with in south Armagh. “I believe that this money can be directed towards badly needed infrastructure, poverty and supporting local business development. It also allows for upgrading of cultural projects and heritage in rural areas. The Minister must be commended for this announcement.”
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