Belfast Telegraph

Local communities continuing to benefit through RDP – O’Neill

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O’Neill officially opened a newly re-furbished community hall at Craigmore in Maghera.

Craigmore Community Association’s new community hub will provide access to a range of services for young people, women, the elderly and the local community. The £451,532 project received funding support of £238,180 from South West Action for Rural Development (SWARD) under Axis 3 of the Rural Development Programme (RDP).

Speaking at the official opening the Minister said: “This modern multi-purpose facility, providing access to a range of services, is an excellent example of how financial assistance from the RDP has benefited a local community. People from across the locality will benefit from this wonderful recreational resource for years to come.”

The Minister continued: “To date, Local Action Groups have spent a total of £37million on Axis 3 since the start of the programme and it is great for me to see projects like this come to fruition. Investments such as this are key to enhancing and sustaining rural life and rural communities. I encourage all in our rural communities to help shape the future investment opportunities and do this by responding to the current public consultation on the draft 2014-2020 RDP.”

Public consultation on the draft NI Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 was launched on 1 July 2013 and will remain open for 16 weeks, closing at 5pm on 21 October 2013. Details of the consultation can be found on the DARD website and the NI Direct website (

The Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 is part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and over this period is worth £500million to the north.

Notes to editors:

1. Craigmore & District Community Association (C&DCA), was formed in March 2010. The Association has secured a 25 year lease on a property owned by Watty Graham GFC and through the project has provided a modern multi-purpose community hub to permit a variety of activities for the elderly, young people and foreign nationals (whose children make up 12% of St Mary’s Primary School pupils) in the area.

2. Craigmore & District Community Association received funding support of £238,180 from SWARD under Axis 3, Measure 3.4 ‘Basic Services for the economy and rural population’ to adapt and refurbish the current building to make it fit for purpose and provide access to a range of services for young people, women, the elderly and the community. Total project cost was £451,532.66 with the Association and Watty Graham’s GAC contributing the remainder.

3. SWARD cluster (Cookstown, Dungannon, Magherafelt and Fermanagh council areas) is responsible for delivery of Axis 3 ‘Quality of Life’ Measures of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 on behalf of DARD. SWARD has an allocation of £20,522,227.

4. Axis 3 of the RDP contains the following measures:

· Diversification into non-agricultural activities – Farm Diversification
· Business creation and development
· Encouragement of tourism activities
· Basic services for the economy and rural population
· Village renewal and development
· Conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage

5. Local councils came together in clusters to deliver the Axis 3 ‘quality of life’ measures of the Programme on a sub-regional basis, and seven clusters were formed. Each cluster works with a Local Action Group ensuring bottom-up delivery with local people responsible for local decisions.

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