MILESTONE ‘£1 MILLION’ ALLOCATED TO RURAL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES
DERRY and Strabane Rural Partnership has made its latest round of funding, bringing the total awarded to date to £1 million – which has created 56.5 new jobs and provided innovative services across the rural Derry City & Strabane District Council area.
The awards include four grants through the Rural Business Investment Scheme to Lowry Construction Ltd in Castlederg, the Furniture Liquidator Ltd in Victoria Bridge, Supermix Ltd in Newtownstewart and Finn Valley Cottages in Clady.
This brings the total amount allocated to date through three calls under the scheme to £996,252 – which has supported 20 rural businesses throughout the district.
The Partnership has also made its first allocations of funding through the Rural Basic Services Scheme – with 11 community groups receiving grants to complete feasibility studies. Two organisations are also the first to receive small capital grants under the scheme.
Learmount Community Development Group has been awarded over £26,000 to create a Dementia Friendly Hub in Park village which will include a memory café as well as vital services to support families and carers of dementia sufferers.
Gortilea Social Farm has been awarded over £32,000 to provide specialist equipment to deliver ‘hippotherapy’ services to children and young people with disabilities – enabling the provision of innovative therapy treatment using horses. This will be the first community hippotherapy centre in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the recent AGM, the Chair of Derry and Strabane Rural Partnership Cllr Patricia Logue acknowledged the impact of this vital funding for the rural businesses.
“We are delighted to have awarded our first £1 million and to be now supporting 20 businesses to create almost 57 new jobs – already meeting 83% of our job creation target up to 2020.
“These fantastic jobs have a positive knock-on effect on our wider local economy – particularly in such a challenging economic climate.
“We are also delighted to have made our first awards through the Rural Basic Services Scheme.
“These projects will undoubtedly be a life blood for rural communities – supporting innovation in delivering currently absent or difficult to access services.
“I am particularly pleased that our first capital grants under this scheme are for such innovative projects – the first of their kind – and that they will provide vital services for people living with dementia and children with disabilities”.
The NI Rural Development Programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union.
For further information on the Rural Development Programme in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area visit www.derrystrabane.com/rural