SOAR success in Newry and Mourne

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Community, Politics
Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has hailed the success of the Southern Organisation for Action in Rural Areas (SOAR) in boosting the rural economy in Counties Armagh and Down. Speaking at a celebration event in Armagh, the Minister said that SOAR, which is the delivery agent for the Rural Development Programme within the Armagh, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne Council areas, had delivered on local rural projects worth over £12million. The Minister stated, “It is encouraging to see the vast, and very diverse, range of projects which have been delivered by SOAR. In total, 267 projects have benefited from Axis 3 monies, with over 200 new rural jobs being created. “Job creation is a key focus for SOAR and this figure will continue to rise as projects complete. This is a fantastic achievement. These new jobs offer a real opportunity to grow our rural economy and will help make the SOAR area a more attractive and prosperous place to live, work and invest,” she added. Sinn Féin MLA Mickey Brady commended the work of SOAR.  “SOAR recently marked the achievement of over £12.5 million spend on local rural projects and I commend all involved in this work which ensures the economic and social sustainability of all our rural areas. “For example under the Encouragement of Tourism Activity Measure just over £1.8 million of grant aid has been awarded and this has not only improved tourist facilities for years to come it has also dramatically increased visitor number by132,354 tourism visits.”
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