ONeill urges young people to grasp opportunity of improving their community

10 December 2014

PLEASE NOTE - Registration closed on December 19th 2014

Rural Development Minister, Michelle O’Neill MLA today urged young people to grasp the opportunity of improving their community as part of a £70million Rural Development initiative being established across the north of Ireland.

The Minister was speaking as a second series of second series of 10 public meetings got under way.Speaking ahead of a youth engagement event at Loughry College in Cookstown on December 16 (from 7pm-8:30pm)

Minister O’Neill is encouraging young people aged 18 to 30 to attend and get involved in the development of rural areas by engaging in their Local Action Group (LAG).

Minister O’Neill said: “Local Action Groups (LAGs) are being formed in rural areas throughout the north and these groups, which are open to anyone aged 18 or over, will have a key role in the delivery of funding to local projects as part of the 2014 -2020 Rural Development Programme.

"For LAGs to be truly effective they require as many people as possible to get involved and drive them forward. This time around we would particularly welcome the involvement of young people ensuring that they have a role and that their voice is heard in the delivery of schemes designed to tackle poverty, create jobs and bring about positive change in rural areas.

“A youth specific event will be held in Loughry College, Cookstown on Tuesday 16 December 2014 and I would encourage any young person aged 18 to 30 who has an interest in rural development to attend and to consider joining their LAG to improve their community for the benefit of all those to live there.

Michael Reid, Chief Executive Officer, YFCU, said:

“I welcome this event to give young people the opportunity to explore how they can be involved in decision making processes in their community.

“Young people living and working in rural areas are an untapped resource and being able to contribute to local decision making processes is a great way for young people to put their wealth of skills and knowledge to good use.

”Caroline Redpath, Assistant Director YouthAction Northern Ireland, said:

“Getting involved in different ways with Local Action Groups have the potential to offer young people aged 18-30 a terrific opportunity to engage in the development of their local rural area.

“We welcome this call from the Minister and would encourage all young people with an interest in their community to come along and explore how they can get involved and bring real and positive change to their rural area.”